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Manchester United’s roller-coaster season has been in another downward phase for some time. Now all eyes are on its newly signed manager, to see if he can get the team back to its winning ways.
The season started with a lot drama as Manchester United trailed the top five teams in the English Premier soccer league by nearly 20 points in December. It was pretty clear there was a need for change.
On Dec. 19th, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed caretaker of the club until the end of the season. This initially looked like the best thing that could have happened for United.
Solskjaer made an instant impact, leading United to fourth place and challenging for a Champions League spot. He also led United to a stunning comeback against Paris-Saint Germain in what was a historic night in Paris.
Results had fans crying out for him to be appointed permanent manager of the club. After Zinedine Zidane went back to Madrid in mid-March, United’s top man was now unavailable, making it obvious that Solskjaer was the next up.
On March 28, United and Solskjaer agreed to a three-year deal. Since that day, everything has gone downhill. After being knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona, the team has also failed domestically to string results together, with their last game ending in a 2-0 loss to rival Manchester City.
Perhaps United did themselves a huge disservice by appointing Solskjaer early. The trial period was until the end of the year and the hierarchy at United only saw what the team could do when they played well, but never when the team was struggling under Solskjaer.
It was clear the fans and the players bought into him and really wanted him to be here next year, but when a hiring decision is made permanent, it is human nature to back off and slow down.
Solskjaer is now struggling to get his players to respond and get back to the great form they had. The team has really gotten complacent and lost its poise.
The rest of the season presents a big test for the club from the top to the bottom. United will try to sort out the locker room drama, decide whether Solskjaer should stay for the upcoming season, and determine which players they will bring in to help rebuild this club.