What went wrong this year for Ole?

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gerdm07

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I'm sure we will hear many rumors in the coming weeks and months about what and when things went wrong for Ole and the team. It doesn't hurt to speculate, though.

- It looked like a happy clubhouse overall last year and we got decent results with 2nd and a final. The three changes from last year to this year were Sancho, Varane and Ronaldo. Did Ronaldo upset the balance of roles? Did he get special treatment? Did Cavani's, a seemingly popular player, change of roles affect the locker room? Did Ronaldo lead a revolt because he was unhappy with Ole?

- Did Ole's favoritism finally catch up to him? Players see who is playing and training well and if the manager does not start or give more playing time to deserving players that can eat at a team from within. Players also see who is not playing and training well and if they start match after match that is even worse.

- Was it the Young Boys match that convinced a number of players that Ole wasn't tactically competent enough to take us to the next level? What is it an accumulation of tactical mistakes?

- Was it some personnel issues that turned some players against Ole? Did he not treat some with enough respect?

- Why is our defense this season so much worse than last season? It's the same defense and defensive midfielders except for Varane playing a little and yet we have become very leaky.
 

hurricane thunderclap

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Just bad luck really , he was close,very close. A few more things on the training ground and it would have been alright.
 

Nogbadthebad

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His insitance of a midfield 2 and 424 when we really, really do not have the players for it.

Last year we tended to sit back and catch teams on the break with it, this year he tried to go on the front foot with the same team and it just left us vulnerable to every attack, yesterday was the epitome of it.
 

clarkydaz

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the favouritism has a domino effect on everything else. if he gave everyone a fair crack i think the squad would have looked past his shortcomings for longer. He had no interest or belief in half the players
 

Dec9003

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Once you enter really bad form it’s so difficult to turn it around, that with relying on people that let him down. It just went stale sadly.
 

Kopral Jono

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Tactical stubbornness, ultimately, which in itself stems from him being out of his depth for a club of our stature.
 

GazTheLegend

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Honestly? The major problem he had was TOO many good players, in my opinion. A few massively overrated passengers, a few overrated club stalwarts, a serious lack of balance in the team, and genuine bad luck at some really crucial moments, in my opinion.

We were 1 penalty save or goal from de Gea away from a trophy, and that would have made all the difference. Personally would have shifted Pogba and Lingard too.
 

Dinghy

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Ronaldo and the whole shape of the team, confidence shattered. Then in the end the players losing belief in the manager because the new players where supposed to make us title contenders.
 

Sandikan

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Massive Euros hangover from the likes of Maguire and Shaw.
Rashy being out for the first quarter of the season.
Fantasy football esque attempts to squeeze in 4 attackers with a 2 man centre mid, especially with the lesser workrate of Ronaldo v Cavani
McTom and Fred not being at last season's level
Varane missing more games injured than playing
Wan Bissaka totally forgetting any sense of positioning
Coming back from deficits as often as last season was never going to be sustainable long term

Perfect storm, as they say
 

Gazautd18

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Tactically inept.
Playing the same players regardless of form.
Broken promises.
Unable to instill a winning mentality.
 

Red_toad

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Didn’t buy a decent midfielder. Tried to get the team to play more progressive, then was completely out of his depth when it all went wrong.
 

SuperiorXI

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The expectation shot right up with the acquisitons of Varane, Sancho and Ronaldo. Our form took a nosedive right away and I don't think Ole had it in him to turn it around.

He was stubborn with McFred and it was just a shit sandwich in the middle of a royal banquet.
 

Freak

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There’s this misconception that we were good last year and only this year we’ve started to fall apart. It’s wrong - we’ve been inconsistent during his entire time here. Our defence have always leaked goals and he’s never fixed it. Look at how many times we’ve had to come from behind last season. The cracks were always there and he never fixed it - it’s just that this season players who’ve saved him before (Bruno) are misfiring.
 

Borys

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I see a lot of good posts in this already, agree with most of it.

Personally I think he made a mistake early this season trying to turn one of Fred/McTominay into sitting DM. That combined with "everybody forward" tactics made us easy to play against. So last season we had a poor structure defensively, while this season it has been a proper distater.

The feeling "we look like losing a goal every time we lose the ball" fecked us up offensively. Whoever played football on any level knows that feeling. So I wouldn't judge our attacking players until we steady the ship defensively.
 

shamans

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Just want to see Scholes hit a volley.
People think we were some sort of cohesive unit pre Ronaldo with our #9 scoring for fun.

The truth is the margins are slim at the highest level and Ole was not quick enough on his feet to adjust/implement his tactics. There were signs of this from the very start but we all ignored them.

One thing I'll point out is his stubbornness in terms of player selection. McFred was just not working out so why not give DVB a run? I'm sure he will regret what he did to van der beek.
 

acnumber9

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The results caught up with the performances as they were always going to. A literally unparalleled run of penalties dried up and when you often win games by the odd goal that’s a problem.
 

gerdm07

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There’s this misconception that we were good last year and only this year we’ve started to fall apart. It’s wrong - we’ve been inconsistent during his entire time here. Our defence have always leaked goals and he’s never fixed it. Look at how many times we’ve had to come from behind last season. The cracks were always there and he never fixed it - it’s just that this season players who’ve saved him before (Bruno) are misfiring.
We had the 2nd best goal difference last season and only City, Chelsea and Arsenal had significantly better goals against.
 

Leftback99

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Bad transfer decisions creating a woefully unbalanced squad. Which is also going to be a problem for the next guy.
 

spe88

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Surprised with people saying it’s Ronaldo, he might have had some sort of impact but it seems to have started before he joined. The Southampton and Wolves games for example.
 

11101

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Tactically he was always out of his depth. He got past that by getting the players confident, happy and playing for the shirt.

Ronaldo coming in changed that. It needed proper tactical knowledge to fit him in the team and Ole didn't have it.
 

90 + 5min

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Balance of the team and players who think they are stars without showing anything for it.
 

oses14

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the favouritism has a domino effect on everything else. if he gave everyone a fair crack i think the squad would have looked past his shortcomings for longer. He had no interest or belief in half the players
I mean one example is DVB.
 

JPRouve

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Nothing special, we were generally not cohesive under Ole and were saved by superior talent more than anything. If I was to answer a question that was asked by an other thread, talented players provide a high ceiling and a talented manager provide a high floor. Ole isn't a talented manager and therefore our floor has always been low which is something that you can't afford when your goal is silverware.
 

Zen86

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I’d say the recruitment is what tipped things over the edge. We didn’t really have the players for the setup he wanted yet he persevered with it regardless. Also, his inability to integrate players like VdB likely sowed the seeds of discontent.
 

AjaxCunian

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It was wrong since the very start, we have been poor for a long time but finally our luck ran out.
 

kundalini

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Massive Euros hangover from the likes of Maguire and Shaw.
Rashy being out for the first quarter of the season.
Fantasy football esque attempts to squeeze in 4 attackers with a 2 man centre mid, especially with the lesser workrate of Ronaldo v Cavani
McTom and Fred not being at last season's level
Varane missing more games injured than playing
Wan Bissaka totally forgetting any sense of positioning
Coming back from deficits as often as last season was never going to be sustainable long term

Perfect storm, as they say
Good post. You could add that one of Solskjaer's biggest failings was continuing to select out of form players, whether it was De Gea towards the end of the Mourinho/Solskjaer season or Maguire in terrible form from the start of this season. For all the initial talk of standards and fitness, if you were one of his chosen few, it didn't matter if you worked hard on the pitch or not.

I thought Ole would be a good United manager. Clearly I was mistaken.
 

Irwin99

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Was an inevitable collapse, and now Liverpool and Chelsea have seemingly got their acts together. Martial and Rashford's penalty wins are a noticeable absence, constant comebacks were bound to dry up, defence has been bad for a long time, midfield is as basic as you like. Again, this feels like a natural conclusion.
 

RORY65

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I'm not sure what we did last year was sustainable, going behind away from home constantly was easier to correct when there were no crowds. He's also suffered from key players losing form/not being fit and because there was no system in place he was very reliant on individuals and so continued to pick them when out of form or not fully fit.

I think he recognised that to properly compete for the league we needed to win a lot more games and couldn't be so reliant on counter attacking but he had no plan of how to make us better at dominating games through coaching so just threw more players up front (going from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-2-4) in the hope that their talent would be enough but it's made us incredibly easy to play through.
 

Wednesday at Stoke

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He placed a massive amount of faith on Maguire and Shaw and both have flopped since the euros. A fit Varane seemed to help but he’s been injured, so has Pogba and the leakiness at the back left no room to work on attack. He also brought some of it on himself by not rotating the squad and over relying on players playing their way out of bad form instead of giving them a break and trusting the back up options. In the end, he overachieved at a job of this stature considering is own inexperience. If he had to do it over again, he probably would have hired a stronger back room staff than Phelan, Carrick and the bloke that looks like he’s on suspension from Hogwarts.
 

Eric_the_Red99

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In no particular order:

1. The alarming post-Euro 2020 dip in form of both Shaw (our best player last season) and especially Maguire.
2. Varane being unavailable through injury for the last few matches (which exacerbated #1, meaning our entire back 4 has been very poor)
3. The addition of an undroppable Ronaldo made an already imbalanced first 11 even less cohesive (a fact masked by his goal contributions)
4. The failure to sign a decent DM during the summer, meaning we were still relying on McFred, with opposition teams now being fully aware of the weaknesses of such a set-up and exactly how to exploit it.
5. Ole's stubbornness in persisting with under-performing players, like McFred, Maguire and Shaw, when there were viable options on the bench like VDB, Bailly, Telles
6. Bruno continuing his poor form from last season (combined with Rashford being out/less than 100%, meaning our two something-out-of-nothing match winners weren't winning matches for us)
7. Ole not having a clue how to use Sancho effectively (although I'm still not convinced he will excel in the PL like he did in Germany)

So overall, it's been a combination of Ole's shortcomings as a manager, the club's awful approach to transfers, and some bad luck. But without the first two of those problems, we could have ridden out the third one without our season going off the rails like it has done.
 

Sandikan

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Good post. You could add that one of Solskjaer's biggest failings was continuing to select out of form players, whether it was De Gea towards the end of the Mourinho/Solskjaer season or Maguire in terrible form from the start of this season. For all the initial talk of standards and fitness, if you were one of his chosen few, it didn't matter if you worked hard on the pitch or not.

I thought Ole would be a good United manager. Clearly I was mistaken.
I could have mentioned Pogba as well, but he's frustrated Jose and however many years we're in now we still don't have a clue how to best use him. So I won't put that one down to Ole.
The Van D Beek thing was a real mystery as well.
 
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