Is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the right appointment for Manchester United?
Sunday Supplement panel discuss the Norwegian's position after a second straight loss
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 18/03/19 7:38am
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to be appointed as Manchester United manager on a permanent basis, but a second successive defeat led the Sunday Supplement panel to discuss if that would be the right decision.
United were somewhat excused for their 2-0 defeat in the Premier League at Arsenal last weekend following their miraculous victory on away goals in the last 16 of the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain a few days earlier.
But Solskjaer's side were knocked out of the FA Cup at Molineux on Saturday night, with United looking fatigued as goals from Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota secured a 2-1 win for Nuno Espirito Santo's men.
The Sunday Supplement panel discussed whether complacency has returned to the Old Trafford dressing room, and whether Solskjaer would still be the correct appointment come the end of the season.
Oliver Kay - Chief football correspondent - The Times
If you look at the last three months, he has done a fantastic job - nobody can dispute that. But the question of whether he is the right man for next season shouldn't be based on whether he wins a cup or that he beat Paris Saint-Germain or whether they get into the top four.
It should be based on what the board think he can do next season. It should be based on whether he is the right man to do it medium to long-term.
To me, if they had rushed into appointing him on the basis of the first few months, that would've been a mistake.
I've criticised the United boards a lot over the past few years, but when people are saying, 'why don't they announce it?' I think United are right to be just a bit more circumspect about that.
What happens if they just level off between now and the end of the season? Would it still be the right thing to appoint him?
He's surpassed all expectations, but they should still be a bit open-minded about it, just in case it does wear off and somebody else might come on the market that is a better long-term bet because it has to be about that, not about rewarding somebody for doing a brilliant job as caretaker.
We've seen what happened to Roberto Di Matteo and other times at smaller clubs, when caretakers aren't the right men to take clubs forward. I'm not saying Solskjaer isn't but I think they should be open-minded about it. He's made an almost irresistible case, but they should weigh up alternatives.
Jeremy Cross - Chief sports writer - Daily Star
They played quite well against Arsenal, but on Saturday it looked like [Jose] Mourinho was back in the dug-out.
There was no urgency, and no speed to their passing. All the best players were on a day off. Everyone is debating why the board have not made Solskjaer manager on a permanent basis. Why wait until June?
He's clearly the outstanding candidate for the job. One theory is that if they do announce it, there may be a lull in performance. You could argue that if there might be a lull in performance then why give it to him anyway.
If you go back two months, United supporters would snatch your hand off for where they are now. They've got a genuine chance of getting into the top four, they're going deep in the Champions League.
They've just had a bad week, really, but I don't think much has changed. I don't think the board think any differently of Solskjaer. They just had a bad day yesterday, and the pressure is now on when they return against Watford.
Vaishali Bhardwaj - Sports journalist - Evening Standard
I think they should be looking at alternatives, not because Solskjaer won't do well this season. When they make this next appointment, they need to make sure the manager fits into what they're looking for.
When they hired Jose Mourinho, there was a feeling he didn't bring enough youngsters through into the teams and there were questions over his style of play.
I think when they make the next appointment, they need to make sure the manager understands the philosophy that United have and want to have going forward and can achieve the aims that the club has, which is winning major trophies and the Premier League.
Solskjaer clearly fits into a lot of that, and has done a fantastic job so far, despite the last two results, but they should be considering all the options.