Where is the credit for winner Ole Gunnar Solskjaer?

Date published: Monday 27th July 2020 9:12

The Premier League season is over but the mails keep rolling in to theeditor@football365.com

 

Well done Manchester United
As a Liverpool fan, I just want to congratulate all the Man Utd fans on what an incredible year they’ve had! Last year you got 66 points and finished sixth. This year OGS made unbelievable improvements to the dressing room mood music, you spent close to £200m, got *checks notes* 66 points and finished third. Wow! At this rate of improvement, Liverpool and Man City don’t stand a chance next year. Keep up the good work!
Oliver, LFC

 

Ole! Ole! Ole!
Thank goodness for that. Not a brilliant performance by any stretch but we got the job done. My nerves were shot, although the players kept their heads and dragged themselves through it.

To come third after feeling such a low following that awful Burnley match in January is an excellent outcome. The players should have learned a lot from the run-in and we have a good base to build from. Still obviously a good bit behind City and Liverpool at the moment but there are encouraging signs. All league-winning teams are built on a good defence. That “waste of money oil-tanker-turning” Maguire and “90’s fullback” AWB helped to give us a defence which ended up conceding only three more goals than Liverpool. Money well spent.

The players can now rest up and look forward to finishing off the Europa League, it would be great for Ole to win a trophy but that’s a concern for another day. Champions League football is back at Old Trafford, if we can add a few more players to increase the quality throughout the squad then we can hopefully kick on. I guess you could call that progress.
Garey (Are we still 5th?) Vance, MUFC

 

…It’s pretty damn ridiculous that you didn’t list Ole as a winner.

People were saying he should be sacked after the Burnley match, but instead he went undefeated for the rest of the league season and finished third, above Lampard (winner) and Mourinho (winner).

Ole just oversaw Rashford and Martial’s best ever seasons, got Mason into the first team in emphatic fashion, saw Luke Shaw, Wan-Bissaka, Fred, McTominay and Williams all improve under him, and did it all with the youngest squad in the Premier League, all while constantly being told (by a certain some people) that he’s out of his depth.

United’s end of season run was incredible, and Ole deserves all the credit for that. He’s the goddamn person who bought Fernandes in the first place.

You can high five yourself about United having the same points total as under Moyes, but everything is relative, and right now, we’re the third best team in England.

Odin be with you,
Gaaavie

 

…After writing off Solskjaer before a ball had even been kicked, this site had some serious backtracking to do. And yet when you curled out your Winners we saw Lampard (ha!) and Mourinho (ah ha ha!) listed but no Ole. Strange…

Ah but here comes 16 Conclusions and a chance to right the wrongs…Hmm. A lie about Pogba and then nothing on United until point seven… and that’s to criticise United and Solskjaer. Have I missed something? We did win finish third, right?

Let’s read on… criticism of Matic… more criticism of Matic… again Matic… hmm, nothing on Solskjaer. I don’t just mean you’re not erecting a statue of the guy in ABU365 Towers (or at the very least a year long banner saying “Sorry Ole, We Were Wrong“), but there’s not even a “Well done old chap.”

I’ve asked this before, but seriously, what are you going to do when Solskjaer wins something?
William Douglas Foster, Stretford

 

…Last August Ole Solskjaer was the favourite to be first manager sacked in the season. His team finished 3rd in the League.

Matt Stead has Steve Bruce, Chris Wilder, Ralph Hassenhuttl and Jose Mourinho in his PL winners of the season but not Solskjaer.

Matt – you’re a wanker.
Matt O’Doherty

 

(Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was praised at length in Premier League Winners of the season. Maybe try and read something other than the bits in bold – Ed)

 

Grading Man United players
First of all, how on earth did United finish THIRD?! Since my current emotion is overwhelming relief, I thought I’d take some time to put together a very long, subjective, and largely pointless mail, rating United’s players for the season. Feel free to rip this apart, or even simply skip ahead.

Goalkeepers
David de Gea (B-) Has looked increasingly error-prone as the season has gone on, but still arguably the best keeper at the club. Needs to step it up next year, with Henderson waiting in the wings.

Sergio Romero (B+) Absolutely love him. Lives up to the “mad goalie” stereotype, and is extremely reliable when called upon. Should have played vs Chelsea in the FA cup, but hope he at least gets a few more chances in the Europa.

Lee Grant (N/A)

Defenders
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (A-) The move to a “big” club hasn’t appeared to have fazed him at all. Arguably our most consistent defender this season, and has made that RB spot his very own.

Victor Lindelof (B-) Still looks shaky from time to time, but solid enough overall. Though his lack of pace might end up costing him a starting spot next season.

Harry Maguire (B+) The poor guy has had to justify a price tag he didn’t choose all season. Has helped turn our defence into the 3rd-best in the league, but desperately needs someone pacier beside him.

Luke Shaw (B+) Seems to be the first-choice LB after a few weird years of being rotated with Ashley Young. Has looked much better and fitter since the restart, and the competition from Brandon Williams has definitely helped.

Eric Bailly (D) This might seem a bit harsh, but should probably be sold. Far too injury-prone to be a consistent backup, even though he’s a decent defender when he’s fit.

Brandon Williams (B+) Had a breakthrough season, and scored his first senior goal. Looks to be an able backup for Shaw, and still very young. Will be interesting to see how he kicks on.

Tim Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanzebe (?) Near impossible to judge either. Hope they’re both able to shake off their injury woes, and at least get a few more games next season.

Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo (N/A) Can’t remember either doing anything of note this season, and for that alone, Ole deserves massive credit. Neither should be anywhere near a squad with ambitions of moving forward.

Diogo Dalot (F) Really hasn’t worked out for him, which is a real shame.

Midfielders
Fred (B+) Massively improved this season, and held fort admirably well in the first half. Got a bit of a raw deal after the restart, and arguably should have featured more, but he can be proud of how far he’s come.

Scott McTominay (B+) One of United’s most consistent performers this season, especially when things weren’t going so well. Also chipped in with a few goals, and hopefully he can keep getting better.

Nemanja Matic (B-) Has been excellent in patches, but his lack of pace has caused quite a few problems. Still, considering he was all set to be sold in Jan, not too shabby overall.

Paul Pogba (C+) Maybe a bit unfair, but he hasn’t really played often enough to justify a higher grade. One of the best players at the club on his day, but needs to be a lot more consistent. With CL football secure, the hope is that he’ll stay and push on, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Bruno Fernandes (A++) Not even sure that’s an actual grade, but holy shit. The man has utterly transformed this team, and is probably shoo-in for the club’s POTY despite just playing for 6 months. Magnífico!

Daniel James (B-) Another slightly unfortunate one. Was never supposed to play as much as he did, and has had very limited opportunities post-restart. But a decent enough goal + assist tally for his first top-flight season.

Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata (C-) Both no longer fit for purpose, and for entirely different reasons. Lovely Juan just doesn’t have the legs any more, and Pereira is just not very good.

Jesse Lingard (D+) Has become a bit of a punchline, and a move away from United would do him a world of good. Managed to at least get his first league goal of the season today, and ruin quite a few bets in the process.

Tahith Chong (C-) Looks like a half-decent player, but definitely needs a loan.

Forwards
Anthony Martial (A-) Had to step it up after Lukaku left, and did. 20+ goals in all comps, as well as his first competitive hat-trick. Looks to be settling well into the #9 role, and has been one of our best players since the restart. A bit more consistency, and could turn into a bona fide world class forward.

Marcus Rashford (A-) Was carrying much of the goalscoring burden for large parts of the season, and delivered when he needed to. Hasn’t been at his best since the restart, but will hopefully keep improving next season. Also a thoroughly good egg.

Mason Greenwood (A+) 17 goals as an 18 year-old is frankly ridiculous. Looks a fantastic talent, and will certainly get more opportunities next season.

Odion Ighalo (B+) Living the dream, and seems to do what it says on the tin. Will hopefully get a few more starts next season.

Manager
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (B+) Given that it was United’s worst start to a season in 30 years, 3rd place is a bloody good way to finish. Got plenty wrong, but inarguably got plenty more right, especially in the transfer market. Probably still not the man to win Manchester United the league, but has definitely earned the right to work towards it for at least another season.

Thank you for your time and patience. As ever, stay safe everyone!
DJ, MUFC (winning the Europa would be a lovely way to wrap things up) India

 

 

 

Sancho replaces Greenwood replaces Martial
Job well done for United, although I believe neither team did enough to outright win the game. Maguire still looks like he is going to give us just as many memories as Phil Jones. But the two biggest weaknesses for me are still Martial and Matic. Much has been said about Matic so I will just talk about Martial.

Last night, there were a number of times that Martial was played in but he has almost no left foot at all. Hence, he telegraphs his intention of bringing the ball to his right which makes it easy for any defence to mark him out of the game. He is not a one touch-second touch shoot striker and takes a lot of time on the ball. I still think he is a very good player and he should be competing with Rashford for the space out left. I was reading a comment in 16 conclusions about how Greenwood and Sancho both fit in and I believe Greenwood is our best long-term bet for a central striker with Sancho taking his place on the right. If Solskjaer’s team is going to be playing one striker and not cross the ball a lot, the striker should at least be able to take a fair shot at the goal with both feet.
Hassan (Maguire = Phill Jones in 2 years)

 

Title challengers?
Been a fan of this site for over a decade now, but writing for the first time. It has been a fantastic season and being a Man Utd fan, it was a tense last day for me. My roommate is a Chelsea fan so the tension was doubled.

As you can imagine, both of us were quite happy at the end. We were talking about this season and we both agreed that there are a lot of parallels between Chelsea and United. Both have new managers, one hamstrung by a transfer ban, the other in need of an overhaul of the team. Both are trying to promote youth and both are very genuine in interviews (unlike most other managers). Both have ended up in top four and maybe, just maybe both will end up with a cup victory (Hopefully).

What they need from the transfer window are also quite similar with a few differences. One centre back required for both, although Chelsea need a leader type figure whereas United need more of a foil to Maguire. The only difference- Chelsea need one or two full backs and United need a CDM (hopefully Ndidi-what a game he had tonight!).

If they do get these transfers in, I can see both of them challenging for the title (don’t laugh).

Anyone else feel the same?
Ferventfootballer

 

Oh…Kevin De Bruyne
Imagine a world where people think Henderson is a better footballer than KDB…

Also Brendan is the biggest bottle job in football…how has he not got Leicester over the line from that position

Looking forward to next season now.
Paul, Manchester

 

…Farewell David Silva. Arguably the best player City have ever had.

And KDB. Another two world-class goals yesterday and a season record equalising 20 assists.

What a shame neither have ever been as good as FWA Player Of The Year Jordan Henderson.
Mark (But hey, what do we know?), MCFC

 

Man City though…
Watching Man City yesterday absolutely kick the piss out of another team by a huge scoreline made me think how frustrating of a team they must be for their fans. When they are pulling teams apart by 5, 6 or 7 goals they must be a joy to watch. When they are losing games they shouldn’t possibly lose, like Southampton a couple of weeks ago, they must drive their supporters mad.

Last season they dug in and won games at the death or fought to hold onto a lead, not this year though, City won six games by a single goal in the league, Liverpool won 14. That was the difference in the race for the title.

When the going got tough – insert “rainy night in Stoke cliche” here- City turned into Mesut Ozil, a very nice footballer but not someone you need in a battle, not someone to run that extra yard to make a tackle or throw themselves in the way. Liverpool did though, they hung on, got bodies on the line and walked away with the league.

That’s what City are this season, Mesut Ozil… at home with space against Norwich /Watford hell even Liverpool.. He will pull you to bits, away at United, Chelsea and Wolves with lads snapping at his heels, he’ll go missing.

81 points and 9 defeats in the league is a shocking return for this squad and Pep should rightly take the blame. Only way he can save it now is to win the Champions League. He needs to turn Mesut Ozil into Roy Keane.
Robbie DFC

 

Villa reaction
We didn’t do a Fulham!!!
Paul

 

Villa should not be safe!
It’s been said before, and it seems like momentum is gathering as more and more of the media state it, but something needs to be done about the bottom of the Premier League. This season four teams finished with less than a point per game and West Ham just about finished with more than 1 PPG.

To evidence just how poor a team must be to achieve such a paltry points return, Palace lost seven in a row and still finished on 43 points.

I think the Prem should introduce a play-off for teams who don’t finish in the bottom three but get less than 38 points in a season. Or perhaps it could be teams from 16th & 17th v teams finishing 4th and 5th in the Championship, with a straight swap between the Prem bottom 3 and top 3 in the Championship.

They need something to shake it up, I’m sure this end of season will be sold for its drama, but the reality is four teams were terrible and only separated because somebody forgot to turn on the goal line technology for the Villa v Sheff U game.
James LFC

 

No Vertonghen? Really?
You’ll have lots of emails on far more interesting points, I’m sure, but Mourinho not giving Super Jan some minutes on what will probably be his last ever games for Spurs is outrageous.

Vertonghen, our longest-serving player, has been a class act and been our best CB for a lot of his eight years at the club. People will cry that this wreaks of sentiment (which it does, as he’s not what he once was) but even if we base it on current capabilities is anyone able to say how the laughable Eric Dier gets in ahead of him (apart from the bloke who wrote in to defend him the other day because, basically, he shouts a lot)?

At least let the poor fella start and take him off after five minutes for the crowd of 26 people to applaud him, create a guard of honour, give him a miniature PL trophy and whatever else it was they did for Captain, Leader, Scumbag – John Terry.

I’m sure you’ll be reading, Jan, so a big thank you for being the heart of the defence as we transitioned to be a consistent top-four club. Obviously we’re not that now but you get the point. Great player, comes across as a thoroughly nice geezer and smart to boot – what’s not to like. Good luck wherever you go next.

On a more chirpy note, great to finish sixth so we can avoid the ultimate Spursiness of celebrating Europa League footy (lol) to then have it snatched it away from us as Arsenal fluke their way to an FA Cup. My guess now is that Arsenal will be Arsenal and not win it though.

Congrats to Villa for staying up, they looked dead and buried not long ago. Amazing turnaround.

Now for a summer of being linked with £40m+ players day in, day out to end up with a deadline day loan signing of John Obi Mikel. Or something like that.
Glen, Stratford Spur

 

Dodged a bullet
Thank you Premier League Gods

Yes, if only we had beaten Brighton or Sp*rs, St Totteringham’s Day might have come back, but let’s face it, hate it as much as we might they are the better side right now. Only by three points, so even Silent Stan’s wallet might (hopefully) be able to bridge that gap. But – bullet dodged – bye bye young Eddie and one less British manager for ‘our Merse’ to bang on and on about should have been allowed to have a go at a big club i.e. the Arsenal job. He never was good enough to manage a top six side, or he would already be managing one. I never saw him in the frame at Manchester United, or Everton, or Sp*rs. He’s not good enough for Arsenal and we aren’t top six. So, bullet dodged.

Oh and whilst I’m on the subject, bye bye Troy. Can’t say we’re sorry to see you leave. I’m sure the cojones will come in useful in the Champo next season. And if we don’t get a red carpet at Villa Park next season there’s no justice – to my best mate Paul, probably the biggest Villan alive, you’re welcome mate.
Exiled Gooner. (didn’t mention the end of season mind the gap Sp*rs DVD once. Oh)

 

Chelsea and other winners (and losers)
The final whistle blows on the 2019/20 season, what a unique season it has been for so so many reasons, when the dust settles many a question will be asked for every club, but I will let rival fans decide those questions, when it comes to Chelsea it is as simple as job done, fate was in our own hands and we did our job.

With the end of the season concluded we know F365 will do a huge Winners and Losers section, but here are my own Final Day Winners & Losers;

Final Day Winners:

-Chelsea & Man United – Champions League qualification secured

-Mason Mount – What a beauty of a free kick, then set up the goal for Olivier Giroud, a fantastic debut season

-Aston Villa – Premier League survival after it looked like they were dead and buried a few weeks ago

-Nigel Pearson – Could he have kept Watford up? Well they were rock bottom when he took over and got them out of that relegation zone, harshly sacked likely for behind the scenes reasons but still

-Jamie Vardy – Oldest winner of the Golden Boot

-Kevin De Bruyne – Joint most assists in a Premier League season, joins Thierry Henry on 20, incredible player, world class

Final Day Losers:

-Watford’s Owners- How many managers this season? did it work? no

-Bournemouth – They did their bit, but it was to little to late and I worry for them, financially they could struggle, will Eddie Howe still be there as well you have to wonder

-Leicester – If Chelsea had failed to secure top 4 it would have been seen as failure based on their position throughout season, so does this logic apply to Leicester? If so, they capitulated and finish 5th

-Kepa Arrizabalaga – Dropped for a huge season defining game, surely his Chelsea career is over now.
Mikey, CFC (All eyes on the FA Cup Final now)

More Related Articles