Woodward prepared to sack Solskjaer if Man United's season continues to stall
Selhurst Park, London, Britain – July 16, 2020 Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at half time [REUTERS/Glyn Kirk]

Ed Woodward will have no hesitation firing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer if Manchester United’s season continues to implode.

The United supremo knows it would be like shooting Bambi after Solskjaer’s 1999 Treble heroics when the former striker scored the last-gasp goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final.

But Woodward has privately insisted he would put sentiment aside for the future of the club.

The Old Trafford supremo has come under fire for failing to deliver the priority targets Solskjaer wanted in the transfer window that closed last week.

But it’s Solskjaer himself who could be facing fiercer heat in the coming weeks – with former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino still a wanted man at Old Trafford.

The United supremo knows it would be like shooting Bambi after Solskjaer’s 1999 Treble heroics when the former striker scored the last-gasp goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final.

But Woodward has privately insisted he would put sentiment aside for the future of the club.

Woodward prepared to sack Solskjaer if Man United's season continues to stall
John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield, Britain – May 5, 2019 Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward in the stands before the match [Reuters/Jason Cairnduff]

The Old Trafford supremo has come under fire for failing to deliver the priority targets Solskjaer wanted in the transfer window that closed last week.

But it’s Solskjaer himself who could be facing fiercer heat in the coming weeks – with former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino still a wanted man at Old Trafford.

Senior club officials are more than aware that Pochettino has still not taken a job and he’d be ready and willing to parachute in to Manchester if United’s poor start to the season isn’t arrested.

The Argentinian coach, sacked by Spurs almost eleven months ago and replaced by former United boss Jose Mourinho, has taken time off to recharge his batteries.

Sources close to the South American revealed this week the 48-yar-old has refused several job offers and is waiting for the “right project that will allow him to fully utilise his experience and abilities on the big stage”.

That’s clearly code for the Premier League – and many believe Manchester United would offer Pochettino the perfect platform to re-boot his career.

Solskjaer was a surprise appointment last year and seen as the ideal man to give United the cultural reset they needed when Woodward announced him as the club’s successor to Mourinho in March last year.

And there’s no denying Solskjaer delivered last season reaching three Cup semi finals at home and abroad as well as coming from behind to clinch a Champions League place on the last day of the season.

But those who believe Woodward wouldn’t axe Solskjaer should think again.

Woodward prepared to sack Solskjaer if Man United's season continues to stall
Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain – October 4, 2020 Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min scores their second goal [REUTERS/Oli Scarff]

Despite hiring him in March last year on a three year contract that ends in 2022, Woodward insists the United fan favourite hasn’t got a free ride.

And despite backing the Norwegian in previous transfer windows, notably with the capture of England defender Harry Maguire from Leicester in an £85 million deal last year which made him the world’s most expensive defender, Woodward will act if United’s early season slump continues.

Sceptics believe because Woodward would find it too tough to sack Solskjaer he’s prepared to give him the time to make United genuine title challengers again – even with the prospect of another struggle unfolding this season .

But Woodward points to Liverpool firing club legend Kenny Dalglish in 2012 after they finished eighth in the Premier League as evidence he’d be prepared to do the same.

Solskjaer admits United are facing a make-or-break month with League games against NewcastleChelseaArsenal and Everton as well as Champions League group games at Paris St Germain and home to crack German side RB Leipzig.

After being hammered 6-1 by Tottenham at Old Trafford before the international break the pressure is mounting on Solskjaer who saw his side beaten 3-1 at home by Crystal Palace on the opening day of the new campaign.

In between was an unconvincing 3-2 win at Brighton thanks to a penalty awarded by VAR after the final whistle had gone at the Amex Stadium.

A summer transfer window in which he didn’t get any of his main targets and a dodgy start has put Solskjaer under the microscope – with Pochettino lurking ominously in the background.

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