After a poor start to the campaign Solskjaer is in need of a result against Everton to relieve some of the pressure on the Man United boss
There’s a looming sense of deja-vu at Manchester United as we approach the two-year anniversary of Jose Mourinho’s sacking.
It was just before 9am on December 18 when a press release confirmed that the Portuguese had been relieved of his duties, with the club sitting sixth in the league, 19 points behind leaders Liverpool.
The timing was surprising but the decision was not; Mourinho had to go. His dismissal had followed weeks of debate and discussion whether he was the right man for the job – the very same kind of external conversations which are now being had about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
We have not yet reached the point of no return with the Norwegian, though.
Despite United’s poor start to the season, there have been encouraging wins, most notably over Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
Both victories once again underlined that Solskjaer is capable of masterminding big wins over big sides. However, the concern is the inconsistency which has characterised his tenure.
United travel to Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon looking to bounce back from disappointing defeats against Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir.
However, while there is concern at board level over United’s current position of 15th in the Premier League, with just two wins from their opening six games, it is understood that Solskjaer’s job is not under immediate threat.
There has, and continues to be, strong support for the manager, with the club still committed to a long-term rebuilding project headed by the Norwegian.
However, at what point would that commitment waver? How many more defeats would it take before Solskjaer’s position is thrown into doubt?
As it stands, he isn’t being pushed towards the exit door but the pressure is mounting. There is an acceptance that the last two performances were simply not good enough, meaning a bad result at Everton is only going to place Solskjaer under further scrutiny, especially with Mauricio Pochettino lurking in the background.
It is no secret that United are long-time admirers of the former Tottenham boss, so it was inevitable that he would again become a talking point after he appeared on Sky Sports on Monday night and spoke about his desire to return to work in the Premier League.
The Argentine would undoubtedly relish an opportunity to take the reins at Old Trafford. However, United insist that no contact has been made with Pochettino or his people about succeeding Solskjaer at the helm.
There is a collective desire at United for Solskjaer to be a success but there is no denying that he now has to really prove his credentials for arguably the top job in English football.