Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to be on increasingly borrowed time in the Manchester United hot seat after his team could only muster a 2-2 draw with newly-promoted Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Victor Lindelof’s second-half strike was all set to propel United into the Premier League’s Top 5 for the first time since September, but England international Tyrone Mings netted just two minutes later to secure a well-earned point for Dean Smith’s side.
Villa captain Jack Grealish gave his side a lead just over ten minutes into the game with a sublime curling effort from a narrow angle. That lead lasted until just before halftime, when Marcus Rashford tucked in a fantastic Andreas Pereira cross (albeit with a little help from Villa keeper Tom Heaton).
18 – Manchester United have won just 18 points in the Premier League this season; their fewest after 14 games of a top-flight campaign since 1988-89 (18), when they went on to finish 11th in the table. Stagnant. pic.twitter.com/aZd8DzxeGv
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 1, 2019
Solskjaer’s charges pushed forward for a winner as the seconds ticked down and came close on several occasions while also leaving gaping holes in their rearguard – one of which was nearly exploited by Grealish. But, despite their best efforts, United didn’t appear to have the necessary guile to unlock a disciplined Aston Villa defense.
United’s four wins from fourteen league games see them stuck in ninth position, with considerable ground to made if they are to challenge for European football next season. And the result will inevitably lead to further speculation about the future of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, among the United fanbase – and indeed at boardroom level.
Ed Woodward has committed countless crimes against the club these past 7 years. Putting a legend like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in a position where he’s out of his depth and he gets ridiculed and trashed every week, could very well be his biggest crime.#MUNAVL
— Costas Spanos (@CSpan22) December 1, 2019
This is beyond poor now, please let #Ole leave with dignity. His legendary status is getting hurt and he is inadvertently playing into #glazers and Woodward’s hands. There are better coaches out there. Make it quick.
— AWBSZN (@BahuBailly) December 1, 2019
That’s it for me. Ole has to be gone now. No way he can see out the 2019 calendar year – stuttering draws against promoted sides should be the icing on the cake. #mufc
— Hesham Bilal-Hafiz (@hesham786) December 1, 2019
Thoughts on the game :- Ole is clueless when it comes to subs , James and Mata really should have been off earlier – Our defence looks good on paper but in reality we are shit.- Rashford is too inconsistent – Martial is too lazy to lead any sort of press – Lastly #OleOut
— Ugbedeojo (@Certifiedopeboi) December 1, 2019
It’s not going to get much easier for the Norwegian in December. United host Jose Mourinho’s Spurs on Wednesday, and a loss to the man he replaced in the Old Trafford dugout would be a clear signal of the deterioration in results at the club in recent months.
And if defeat to former United boss Mourinho in midweek doesn’t see Solskjaer dismissed, United’s visit to the Etihad stadium to face cross-town rivals Manchester City a couple of days later will surely become a do-or-die game for the former United striker, who seemingly faces an uphill battle to stay in post before Christmas.