Solskjaer's legacy and his future

lex talionis

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In short, Ole's legacy has taken a serious hit. United supporters will never forget Ole's stunning contributions coming off the bench, but we'll also never forget that the mediocrity he supervised as manager persisted far too long.

When the sacking occurs we'll have plenty of opportunities to discuss when and how it all went wrong, but there is no doubt that going into the 21/22 season Ole was unprepared for the challenge of managing the massive amount of talent he had at his disposal.
 

AndyMUFC

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His legacy is fine.

He's finished 3rd then 2nd and had a really poor start to the following season. If he goes soon, he's not exactly Fergie but nothing that will stop me remembering that goal.
 

0le

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Just another mediocre manager with no possibility of becoming top class.
 
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Here's a question - What were your expectations at the start of 2018/19 season?

And what were your expectations at the start of this season?

The thing is he's judged harshly because he wasn't able to take the final step unlike others who were stuck at the stage of establishing us as a top 4 side. He's spent money and failed at the final hurdle, but there's no shame in that - unable to make the final step.

Also, fun fact - not sure if you are into xG models or not, but the 2 Ole seasons have been the only 2 seasons post SAF where xGD put us in top 4 places, so surely, something was going right
18/19 would be the season Mourinho got sacked.

Well after finishing 2nd I was expecting a serious title challenge. As the summer went on and once our transfers were done plus it started to become obvious that Mourinho was most likely going to throw his toys out his pram for not getting what he wanted I expected top 4. Remember even thou we finished 2nd it was clear Liverpool were the best of the rest after City.

I don’t really pay attention to XG as I believe the eyes see what stats hide. The only use for stats is to direct managers to specific players in a team and narrow shortlists but in the end it’s all about the eyes.

So XG if I understand is about goalscoring chances weighted against distance from goal. So even out the box shots get points, although not as much as those that are in the box, but a team that shoots thoughtlessly outside the box 10-20 a match will still accumulate a high XG point.

So that could a situation where you use the stats to narrow the shortlist but then use the eyes to see which teams actually have good style of play and are well coached.
 

Ralph1386

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If he was sacked or resigned after the EL final I believe his reputation would have been much much much better, I can already see the narrative that Ole built us a solid foundation for the future managers even without winning a single trophy. But now his reputation is sadly already beyond repair, to have spend the most money since Sir Alex and still got schooled by City and Pool at home is what he'll be most remembered for
Funnily enough, I wrote here back in 2019, before he had started his first full season for us, that he was going to build the right foundation for the next manager to lead us to success. Basically that he would be our Rodgers before we found our Klopp.

Never did I expect that the club was so incompetent as to keep him on for this long. To me, when he didn’t sub off Fred in the PSG away group game last year, and we got knocked out in the group stage, I knew then and there that he had hit his ceiling. The EL final fiasco was just further confirmation. When they announced his new contract, many of us were up in arms, but a lot of people here made it look like it was blasphemy to say anything negative about that.
 
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Bang on the money, this.
Agreed.
Also I can’t think of any manager who has ever been given such an opportunity, plus the time and patience, plus the money.

People who say Pep went to Barca or even Xavi, Ole got the United job around 10-12 years after starting his career. He’d already been deemed a failure by most which is why he was back in Norway for 5 years without anyone from England even considering him.
 

pocco

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He's tarnished it completely now, in my opinion. People will talk about him sticking that goal and giving us a night of pure joy, but it will always be followed with a 'but'. Now we know this pain is being drawn out for at least another 6 months, I can only see his stock plummeting.

Every time I see him smiling after we get embarrassed on the pitch, my blood boils. These are memories that will stick with me.
 

Denis79

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Considering we had finished 2nd and reached a final 3 months earlier, my expectations were certainly not that it’d take another 3 entire seasons to match (but not exceed) that…

I was firmly Jose out a healthy point before he was actually sacked, and I agree his standard 3rd year meltdown left us in a bad position which Ole initially did well to smooth over, but I’ve also been convinced for bordering on a quite unhealthy amount of time now, that a significant portion of our fan base, and it’s representatives in media have been usefully bastardising that season as some singularly cataclysmic period which required longer and longer to “recover” from, than any similarly equatable time at any similarly equatable club…

I’ve expected top 4 at the very least in every season, considering our squad quality and egregious outlay, and there seems to have been a weird dual paradoxical attitude to that season, that manages to hold that Jose deserved to be sacked for failing to get the best out of that squad (a squad which we still use at least 12-13 match day players from even now, minus Lukaku - a player most agreed was solidly world class at the start of this term) but that it was also somehow so horrendously poor and unbefitting (despite us still regularly starting about 7 of them) that it needed the same said 3 years to get back to where it peaked…. Without even the smallest expectation of a trophy in the mean time!

For comparison, Jose himself inherited a similarly underperforming mess, which by the start of his second season was already expected to compete for the title (we were solidly second favourites at the time, and very much expectant of a real challenge until we lost to City at home) having also won some trophies in its teething period…. Furthermore Conte managed to actually win the league in his first full year after Jose’s (second) 3rd year meltdown at Chelsea, and Real Madrid won La Decima the season after his implosion there, too…. There are the standards at the elite, big spending clubs…. All apart from ours.

Ole may well have succeeded in his overall remit to improve the squad he inherited to the point of viable competition, but he’s also done it in much longer time frame than was necessary, to the point where any real achievement in the squad is in very real danger of being rendered pointless if he isn’t sacked soon enough for us to actually win something with it….which I yet again must point out contains several of the same players, only older, as well as a couple of World Class forwards that are already over the hill. (And that’s without even getting into the fact that his additions Maguire & AWB have been amongst our worst performers this year!)

So I feel it’s actually not completely unreasonable to conclude that if we don’t win anything big this season, he has taken us backwards… and certainly lowered the expectations of Manchester United to align far more with his as a rookie manager, than ones actually befitting the club…

(All of this is stuff I can find posts of me, and others, saying at the time too… so it’s not like no one saw it coming either)

All of that said, the fact that he did reach the very bare minimum requirements in his 2 full seasons, as well as the feckery of COVID, meant sacking him would always have been a bold thing to do … so I can’t really blame the club for not…. Even though I disagree with it.

So in summary, we’re fecked.
Agree, I don't understand the narrative that he needs more time and money to get it right. He inherited a team that won the EL, League Cup and finished 2nd in the league, on top of that he has had 3 years and considerable money to adjust the squad to his vision. If he was a decent manager we wouldn't have come to a situation like this, not a chance.

It takes quite some skill to make our squad perform this badly to be honest.
 

lawliet354

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Funnily enough, I wrote here back in 2019, before he had started his first full season for us, that he was going to build the right foundation for the next manager to lead us to success. Basically that he would be our Rodgers before we found our Klopp.

Never did I expect that the club was so incompetent as to keep him on for this long. To me, when he didn’t sub off Fred in the PSG away group game last year, and we got knocked out in the group stage, I knew then and there that he had hit his ceiling. The EL final fiasco was just further confirmation. When they announced his new contract, many of us were up in arms, but a lot of people here made it look like it was blasphemy to say anything negative about that.
God I remember that game, everyone who watched that game but Ole know Fred's about to be sent off, yet he did nothing.
 

Desert Eagle

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Considering we had finished 2nd and reached a final 3 months earlier, my expectations were certainly not that it’d take another 3 entire seasons to match (but not exceed) that…

I was firmly Jose out a healthy point before he was actually sacked, and I agree his standard 3rd year meltdown left us in a bad position which Ole initially did well to smooth over, but I’ve also been convinced for bordering on a quite unhealthy amount of time now, that a significant portion of our fan base, and it’s representatives in media have been usefully bastardising that season as some singularly cataclysmic period which required longer and longer to “recover” from, than any similarly equatable time at any similarly equatable club…

I’ve expected top 4 at the very least in every season, considering our squad quality and egregious outlay, and there seems to have been a weird dual paradoxical attitude to that season, that manages to hold that Jose deserved to be sacked for failing to get the best out of that squad (a squad which we still use at least 12-13 match day players from even now, minus Lukaku - a player most agreed was solidly world class at the start of this term) but that it was also somehow so horrendously poor and unbefitting (despite us still regularly starting about 7 of them) that it needed the same said 3 years to get back to where it peaked…. Without even the smallest expectation of a trophy in the mean time!

For comparison, Jose himself inherited a similarly underperforming mess, which by the start of his second season was already expected to compete for the title (we were solidly second favourites at the time, and very much expectant of a real challenge until we lost to City at home) having also won some trophies in its teething period…. Furthermore Conte managed to actually win the league in his first full year after Jose’s (second) 3rd year meltdown at Chelsea, and Real Madrid won La Decima the season after his implosion there, too…. There are the standards at the elite, big spending clubs…. All apart from ours.

Ole may well have succeeded in his overall remit to improve the squad he inherited to the point of viable competition, but he’s also done it in much longer time frame than was necessary, to the point where any real achievement in the squad is in very real danger of being rendered pointless if he isn’t sacked soon enough for us to actually win something with it….which I yet again must point out contains several of the same players, only older, as well as a couple of World Class forwards that are already over the hill. (And that’s without even getting into the fact that his additions Maguire & AWB have been amongst our worst performers this year!)

So I feel it’s actually not completely unreasonable to conclude that if we don’t win anything big this season, he has taken us backwards… and certainly lowered the expectations of Manchester United to align far more with his as a rookie manager, than ones actually befitting the club…

(All of this is stuff I can find posts of me, and others, saying at the time too… so it’s not like no one saw it coming either)

All of that said, the fact that he did reach the very bare minimum requirements in his 2 full seasons, as well as the feckery of COVID, meant sacking him would always have been a bold thing to do … so I can’t really blame the club for not…. Even though I disagree with it.

So in summary, we’re fecked.
Great post and its exemplified by the other poster who compared how Jose was treated for the 1-1 at anfield. Just a few years ago a manager in his second year was expected to challenge for the title. A very reasonable expectation for a top team. However now we are just Arsenal in disguise, happy to be at the party with the cool kids, easy three points, no balls and it's mainly because that's the ceiling of our manager.
 

stepic

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His legacy is fine. It’s not his fault, he was a caretaker manager who did better than expected in his first few months and somehow then got one of the biggest manager roles in the world on a permanent basis. He showed no progression in terms of game play or tactics in 3 years and still managed to hang onto his job way longer than he should have. This is the boards fault all round.
 

Paxi

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Absolutely two separate entities; Ole the player and Ole the manager.

I take one look at Harry Maguire ‘leading’ this team and I shudder — my blood turns cold.
I just back on Ole as a player and remember the good times. His legacy as a United legend will never be undone.
 

whosenext

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Ole is was and always will be a Manchester United football legend, its a shame what has happened during his time as manager, but who knows? Maybe he can turn it around and remind us all of just why he is a legend, he was notorious for late winning goals and who knows, maybe he could prove to be a late bloomer when it comes to management too
 

Mockney

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Great post and its exemplified by the other poster who compared how Jose was treated for the 1-1 at anfield. Just a few years ago a manager in his second year was expected to challenge for the title. A very reasonable expectation for a top team. However now we are just Arsenal in disguise, happy to be at the party with the cool kids, easy three points, no balls and it's mainly because that's the ceiling of our manager.
Exactly it. And it’s kind of maddening to have watched this unfold in slow motion, all the while being gaslit by your fellow fans earnestly trying to tell you that “erm, actually, this is just how you properly build a team” whilst watching actual other clubs leapfrog us effortlessly …

I mean if you look at Ajax, the side we beat in the Europa League final 4 years ago, they’ve essentially rebuilt TWICE to a competitive Champions League level with a pittance of comparable funding. In the same time we’ve failed to win the Europa again, twice, with the best and most expensive squad in it. It’s a very frustrating form of ‘progress.’
 
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Laurencio

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The sooner the board decides to sack him, and appoint a competent replacement, the sooner fans will start to appreciate what he has done in his tenure as manager. Right now the situation is so bad that I think it's very difficult to separate the good he has done from the lack of sporting progress and tactical regression we're seeing. If anything the board's reluctance to act is having a negative impact on Ole's legacy as a manager, but if we get in a competent man that gets the best out of the players - I think we would appreciate what he's done, the players he's brought in and how he handled the post-Mourinho toxicity. We might even end up appreciating how much he meant for the restructuring of Man Utd and how he oversaw a power-restructuring that introduced a modern DoF structure. A good coach, a good period with a DoF and we might be discussing his tenure in very positive terms.

His time is up, and everyone knows it. We know it, the press knows it, opposition fans know it, and the players know it. No one is seriously arguing he's the right man to take us to the next level anymore. Everyone is just waiting for the club to find a replacement and make an inevitable decision. The board isn't doing him any favours by prolonging his tenure and protecting him. They should sack him, find a new man, and end it, so that his tenure can be remembered for the good that happened - and not be judged by the fact that he's not the right man to take us further.

His legacy as a player is a separate matter IMO.
 

sunama

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Ole is was and always will be a Manchester United football legend, its a shame what has happened during his time as manager, but who knows? Maybe he can turn it around and remind us all of just why he is a legend, he was notorious for late winning goals and who knows, maybe he could prove to be a late bloomer when it comes to management too
I assure you, he is not going to turn this around.
He is now on a downward spiral and it's very difficult to get out of it, once it starts.
Any club would've seen this and sacked him. Instead, they kept him in (after the 5-0 loss) and when we played MCFC, we got humiliated. People who know about football predicted this. We'll probably beat some lesser teams, because we have one of, if not the greatest player, of all time in our team, but when it comes to playing tactically aware teams, we'll be taken apart easily.
 
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The sooner the board decides to sack him, and appoint a competent replacement, the sooner fans will start to appreciate what he has done in his tenure as manager.
Exactly, the world class squad a future manager will inherit will rightly so get credited to ole. It’ll will be a first where the new manager comes in and doesn’t need a rebuild.

I’d say a top manager. 2-4 months to get his system in, by end of the season tweak it to his players, in the summer ship out 2-3 squad players eg Lingard, Martial, Jones etc buy 1 or 2 players and next year no excuses
 
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Ole is was and always will be a Manchester United football legend, its a shame what has happened during his time as manager, but who knows? Maybe he can turn it around and remind us all of just why he is a legend, he was notorious for late winning goals and who knows, maybe he could prove to be a late bloomer when it comes to management too
Maybe AOL who were once great at providing internet connection to people will turn things around and become a great movie production studio
 

Roboc7

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The sooner the board decides to sack him, and appoint a competent replacement, the sooner fans will start to appreciate what he has done in his tenure as manager. Right now the situation is so bad that I think it's very difficult to separate the good he has done from the lack of sporting progress and tactical regression we're seeing. If anything the board's reluctance to act is having a negative impact on Ole's legacy as a manager, but if we get in a competent man that gets the best out of the players - I think we would appreciate what he's done, the players he's brought in and how he handled the post-Mourinho toxicity. We might even end up appreciating how much he meant for the restructuring of Man Utd and how he oversaw a power-restructuring that introduced a modern DoF structure. A good coach, a good period with a DoF and we might be discussing his tenure in very positive terms.

His time is up, and everyone knows it. We know it, the press knows it, opposition fans know it, and the players know it. No one is seriously arguing he's the right man to take us to the next level anymore. Everyone is just waiting for the club to find a replacement and make an inevitable decision. The board isn't doing him any favours by prolonging his tenure and protecting him. They should sack him, find a new man, and end it, so that his tenure can be remembered for the good that happened - and not be judged by the fact that he's not the right man to take us further.

His legacy as a player is a separate matter IMO.
Ole hasn’t restructured anything, it’s what the club wanted to do before he arrived. We can’t pretend he has overseen all this, he’s just been the manager whilst it happened.

Maybe some of the players will look like better signings, some might look worse so that credit/blame will go to his successor. Reality is Ole will be regarded as a failure as a manager because that’s what he is, no trophies and a big mess at the end. As a player he’ll be remembered for probably clubs greatest ever moment and once he’s gone most of us will think of the latter rather than the former.
 

soapythecat

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Ole’s tenure at United is one of lowering standards and expectations.
From the outset, once his initial ‘bounce’ ended, he hasn’t shown anything of merit. He’s just hit a standard that has kept us getting points (which for many we’re not a reflection of the game).
Here we are, 3 years later, discussing Brendan Rodgers and Poch as a replacement because we are so sick of where we are as a footballing team.
The club has backed him to the tune of half a billion almost and he still fails to make us competitive with the front runners - we have regressed. Yet fans are seeming still happy to clap and chant his name.
He’s lowered standards and expectations and we, as fans, have allowed it.
 

Foxbatt

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Yes and I really do not understand why they keep supporting Ole knowing that he is not going to win any trophies.
 

Bebestation

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Ole hasn’t restructured anything, it’s what the club wanted to do before he arrived. We can’t pretend he has overseen all this, he’s just been the manager whilst it happened.

Maybe some of the players will look like better signings, some might look worse so that credit/blame will go to his successor. Reality is Ole will be regarded as a failure as a manager because that’s what he is, no trophies and a big mess at the end. As a player he’ll be remembered for probably clubs greatest ever moment and once he’s gone most of us will think of the latter rather than the former.
If this is really true then I've never loved Woodward more.
 

ForeverRed1

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iconic player for us
Red through and through
As a manager.. if he leaves now.. he did what he came to do, reached his level and has left us in better shape then previous.

still a club legend.
 

Jackal981

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He's tarnished it completely now, in my opinion. People will talk about him sticking that goal and giving us a night of pure joy, but it will always be followed with a 'but'. Now we know this pain is being drawn out for at least another 6 months, I can only see his stock plummeting.

Every time I see him smiling after we get embarrassed on the pitch, my blood boils. These are memories that will stick with me.
This. Does this man like losing so much he smiles all the time ? The most non-competitive manager I have ever seen. I never saw any manager ever smile after getting battered by their worst rival.
 

buchansleftleg

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His legacy as a manager will be to have turned the club away from the dark days of the translator's reign. He initially restored the idea of behaving well, and being a club ambassador etc.

However this start has been undermined by the fact that the other part in those dark days, Woodward & the Glazers are still around behaving atrociously towards players and staff when it comes to contract negotiations etc.

He has also failed to develop young talent and integrate them into the first team setup, as he has also failed to integrate other first team squad members to feel part of a collective effort.

I think this is because of his lack of tactical vision and know how. If you rely on individual talent then you over rely on those individuals. If you have a codified "way of playing" then you can drop squad players into games with minimal impact. You can also give younger talent a chance to learn that system.

His legacy is that "vibes" and being a classy guy, polite to the media etc will only get you so far without tactical knowledge, acumen and the courage to stick with your plan.

I don't lay those faults just at Ole's door. The club should have given him the technical coaches that could have helped him to deliver, or guided him to take that approach.

It's time he left, but he has been a great servant of the club. He has just reached his level and not kicked on into a higher gear.
 

fastwalker

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As kind and generous as one might like to be to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the shadow within which he has had to operate and the expectations that he has to meet mean that he will ultimately be regarded as a failure. I think most would acknowledge that Ole, has been promoted beyond his ability. An amiable and extremely like-able man who, but for the fact that he is recognised as a club legend, had no reason to expect that he should ever be in the frame for one of the biggest jobs in club football. At best Ole should have been appointed as caretaker until the end of the season following Mourinho's sacking at which time, the United Board could have taken a more informed view about his suitability for the job and at which point they would almost certainly have decided against offering it to him permanently.

You simply cannot talk about Solskjaer's legacy without also talking about the wave of sentimentality and 'look-the-other-way-ism' that has made it possible for him to remain in post long after it has become abundantly clear that he is out of his depth. The truth is that in evaluating Ole's legacy, we have lowered the bar for him and Ole, abetted by his former team mates turned media pundits, has actively encouraged us to do it. Unable to review his tenure objectively, we preface our commentary with "Ole will always be a legend of this club..." The truth is that he has shown himself unable to perform the task at hand. Initial excuses that his failures were down to a lack of quality and depth in his squad have now been painfully exposed as exactly that 'excuses'. Following the stumbling and fumbling of Frank Lampard at Chelsea, Tuchel showed that all that is required to achieve success is competence.

The measure of success at United is trophies and the key milestones on the road to success are points and performances. Ole has shown himself unable to produce the former and incapable of producing anything like enough of the latter. After three years in charge we have a squad that is more than capable of winning the league but have never looked less likely to do so. If this is not the very definition of failure, then I do not know what is.
 

LInkash

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We've had some great moments worthy of the Manchester United name under him as manager so I'll remember those fondly and largely forget the bad.
 

Matt851

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Exactly, the world class squad a future manager will inherit will rightly so get credited to ole. It’ll will be a first where the new manager comes in and doesn’t need a rebuild.

I’d say a top manager. 2-4 months to get his system in, by end of the season tweak it to his players, in the summer ship out 2-3 squad players eg Lingard, Martial, Jones etc buy 1 or 2 players and next year no excuses
I really wouldn't give ole much credit for building a world class squad. The lack of a defined way of playing means that we have built a somewhat disjointed squad with some really costly mistakes. For example we have a right back not suited to modern football, a hugely expensive centre back lacking the pace to play a high line. We have recruited some good players in recent years but the transfer policy remains a shambles
 
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I really wouldn't give ole much credit for building a world class squad. The lack of a defined way of playing means that we have built a somewhat disjointed squad with some really costly mistakes. For example we have a right back not suited to modern football, a hugely expensive centre back lacking the pace to play a high line. We have recruited some good players in recent years but the transfer policy remains a shambles
I agree Maguire way over priced, and AWB is limited. However this is were OGS’ cowardice, greed, lack of knowledge, galaticos policy, need to only sign obvious expensive signings etc or whatever we want to call it has actually helped us.

imaging if a man as incompetent as Ole spunked £450m trying to sign the type of players that Liverpool sign. It’s genuinely been better for the club and future manager that he’s only signed proven/known players. Maguire overpriced but when on form very good and much much worse have won the league.

AWB, maybe with coaching his attacking play will improve. Like Neville back in the day.
 

Skills

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Can we just pretend we won 1-0 in 99, with Teddy scoring the winner? :nervous:
 

hobbers

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Taken us to a lower point, performance wise, than Mourinho.

Love the man but he's a god awful manager.
 

soapythecat

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Ole could be the hero here by resigning. Many United fans will acknowledge his love for the club and thank him for his efforts, but by resigning it’s a two fingered salute to Woodward and the hatred will be fully on the board. It could, and should, turn ugly.
 

Bosnian_fan

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Ole could be the hero here by resigning. Many United fans will acknowledge his love for the club and thank him for his efforts, but by resigning it’s a two fingered salute to Woodward and the hatred will be fully on the board. It could, and should, turn ugly.
He's way past that. He is part of Glazer gang, and he can't change sides this late in the game. If he was capable manager, he'd be able to compete with this squad.
 

Lee565

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As a manager there is no legacy, I'm sorry but his squad building that many have praised him for has been as bad as previous managers in my opinion.

he has overseen us extending the contracts of players that should have been gone long ago, lost out on over 100 million pound worth of talent walking for free.

He has set no identity with the side what so ever over 3 seasons.

And has delivered 0 trophies.