Will Ole Gunnar Solskjaer be sacked as manager if Manchester United lose at Everton or can he fend off the latest crisis as Mauricio Pochettino lurks as a possible replacement following a woeful start to the season? Sportsmail’s experts have their say
- Manchester United suffered a shock defeat at Istanbul Basaksehir in Europe
- Champions League defeat comes following woeful start to the Premier League
- United head into Saturday’s clash with Everton 15th and already playing catch up
- Defeat at Goodison Park could leave them nine points off a top-four spot
It’s all going wrong for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United and now questions loom over his future following a shambolic 2-1 defeat at Istanbul Basaksehir.
Although the loss only represents a dent in what has otherwise been an encouraging start in their Champions League group, it also comes at a time when the Red Devils are in woeful domestic form.
Solskjaer’s side have taken just one point at home from four games and have lost to Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur – with the latter even resulting in a 6-1 humiliation.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come under pressure at Manchester United following a poor start
It leaves them all the way down in 15th as they travel to fourth-place Everton on Saturday in a crucial Premier League encounter which if they lose again could see them as much as nine points off a top-four spot.
So should and will United stick with Solskjaer if they lose at Goodison Park? Can he still turn it round and if not who should replace him?
Our team of experts give their answers as the pressure ramps up on the United manager.
His United team suffered a Champions League shock after losing at Istanbul Basaksehir
Should Solskjaer be sacked if United lose to Everton?
IAN LADYMAN: Only if United know who they would like to replace him with and that man is called Mauricio Pochettino.
DOMINIC KING: No. If they believe he is still the man the morning after losing in Istanbul, nothing will have suddenly changed in 72 hours. It is hard not to have sympathy with Solskjaer. The people above him are failing him.
JACK GAUGHAN: No, the previous victories in the Champions League have bought him time. Wins over RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain were statements.
DANIEL MATTHEWS: There’s a fair case to be made that Solskjaer should be sacked regardless of what happens against Everton. The calamity in Istanbul was not a turning point – United had responded to a 6-1 defeat by Spurs with a brilliant win over RB Leipzig, after all. It was just another day at a club where every step forward is followed by at least one back. The cold truth is this: there has been no sustained evidence that Solskjaer is capable of closing the gap on the country’s top two. If anything, United are now losing ground on the top four. We didn’t need defeat by Basaksehir to know Ole isn’t the second coming.
A dejected-looking Solskjaer shakes hands with his players following defeat in Istanbul
Will he be sacked if United lose at Everton?
IL: No but the wheels will start to turn for him.
DK: Possibly. The drums have been rumbling around his position for some time and there were indications he could have gone after the 6-1 defeat by Spurs. A two-week international break is now what he needs.
JG: I wouldn’t imagine so. United have not been trigger happy in previous years – Jose Mourinho could’ve gone far sooner than he eventually did.
DM: I doubt it – the club have made it plain they want to back their man and you can’t imagine Ed Woodward is rushing to sack another manager. It’s difficult to see what they’re waiting for, though. Surely they can see there are upgrades out there?
United were humiliated earlier in the season when they were beaten 6-1 by Tottenham Hotspur
Does he stand any chance of turning things around?
IL: Yes he does because he has some good players who are capable of going on runs of good form. They have shown that before. It is also a poor league. What I am also sure of is that he is not the man for the long term. United remain a one step forward and two steps back team.
DK: It depends what ‘turning things around’ means. Will he get Manchester United back towards the top six? Yes. Will he make them a fearsome prospect for the rest of the Premier League. Not with a squad as inconsistent as the one in his charge.
JG: It doesn’t appear that way. United under Solskjaer are never consistently bad but then never consistently good enough either. They’re stuck in an uncomfortable malaise.
DM: It depends on what defines a turnaround. United will be fine this season – they will be in the hunt for the top four, they may even win a cup. But are there any signs that, given more time, Ole will bring the glory days back to Old Trafford? No.
There are doubts over whether Solskjaer can make United Premier League title winners again
Who should replace him if he does lose his job?
IL: Mauricio Pochettino.
DK: If Pochettino isn’t a unanimous answer, I would be amazed. His appointment looked like it would happen two years ago. It seems inevitable he will one day get a crack at this position.
JG: Pochettino is the only man with both a profile large enough and appetite for a big rebuilding project suitable to take it on.
DM: Pochettino, if he’d take it. The Argentine went on Monday Night Football and told the world he wants a job. Almost every club should want to hire him. Especially United.
Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is favourite to take over at Manchester United should Solskjaer depart the club
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