#OleIn: Well Worth the Risk

At this point in time, it seems the majority of the Manchester United fan base is behind our manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, there are some who still believe him to be the worst manager on the planet despite evidence to the contrary. I am very much on team #OleIn, and I believe the risk is far outweighed by the potential reward in the end.

Let’s understand where we currently sit as a club. We have fallen off over the past several years, and have tried everything as far as managerial appointments. The up-and-comer? He lasted less than a season and brought us the Fellaini’s of the world. Big-name managers with numerous trophies to their names? Boring style, lack of results, a toxic environment in the dressing room, and tragic signings like Falcao, Di Maria, and Alexis Sanchez. Under these managers, we saw the quality of the side fall to a level some of us have not seen in our lifetime. With these failures in mind, it does make sense to try someone who understands the unique nature of our club.

Enter Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a man who needs no introduction to United fans. Since coming aboard as caretaker, he has sworn by doing things the “United way”. As things sit now, he has taken us on our best run of games post-Fergie for the second time in his tenure. The pride he takes in leading this club is something you can hear in his voice every time he speaks and see every time he’s on the touchline. Whether celebrating McTominay’s banger against City or telling Jesse if he loses the ball one more time he’s “f**king off”, it is clear to anyone watching this club means everything to him.

Late last season and early in this one, he caught serious flak for being “tactically inept”. This is simply not the case. This is the man who has beaten Pep three times this year, took points off a then-perfect Klopp-lead Liverpool (and would have won had it not been for a defensive error), embarassed Frankie Lampard three times, beaten Poch, and patted Jose on the head after beating him. He can win the big games, and a tactically inept manager doesn’t do that. Has he struggled in the smaller games where teams park the bus against us? Sure….until we signed Bruno Fernandes. Now that we have that creative force to pull the strings, that seems to be changing.

On that subject, let’s talk about his signings. Harry Maguire is club captain and a rock at the back who may not quite be justifying his record fee, but has definitely improved our defense. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been a revelation for a club whose fans could be forgiven for forgetting what a right back actually looks like. He found diamond-in-the-rough Daniel James, who is still our leader in EPL assists this season, in his first season in the Premier League. He’s only going to get better. Bruno Fernandes may well be on his way to making himself a legend, as he has totally changed the team. Even the guy nobody seemed excited about, Odion Ighalo, has been a key contributor on the run we are currently on. In the meantime, he has shipped out more deadwood than a lumberjack (and he isn’t done yet). Add onto that it seems like Paul Pogba wants to stick around, and there’s the makings of one helluva side brewing at Old Trafford.

Another criticism of Ole is that he “hasn’t developed any players”. This, of some criticisms of him that are absolutely nuts, may be the worst. Fred has been one of the best holding CMs in the EPL this year. Scott McTominay has really shown his class under Ole as well. Brandon Williams has shown himself to be the likely future at LB about the same time his academy mate Mason Greenwood has been banging in goals and showing off his limitless potential. Anthony Martial has gotten even more lethal than he already was. Last, but certainly not least, is Marcus Rashford. It’s such a shame he got injured when he did, because he was in the best form of his life. He really seemed to be blossoming into what we all know he can be: the best left winger in the EPL. He was missing the finishing touch early in his career, but he has become a lethal finisher under Ole. To believe he can’t develop players is to believe that these are all coincidences.

There is a portion of the United fan base that wouldn’t be satisfied with Ole even if he won the treble twice, because he came from Molde and “relegated Cardiff” (ignoring the absolute garbage state of that club and pinning it all on him). They don’t like that he doesn’t publicly trash the players and they call him tactically inept. They make up bad excuse after bad excuse as to why his signings are bad and downplay the improvements of players such as Marcus Rashford in an effort to fit their agenda. There is nothing that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could do that could change their minds.

The risk of giving Ole a chance is remaining on the level we’ve been on the last several years. The potential reward is immense. In today’s game, they say we’ll not see a 20-year tenure for a manager at one club again. I think there is one hope for that to happen: Ole at United. Does anyone think there’s a job anywhere in the world that would tempt the man who eats, sleeps, and breathes United away from this club? It’s clear he will be here until he’s told he can’t be anymore or until he decides he’s done with club management. If he can bring the success on the pitch, he can be here a very long time. In an era of instability in the sport, that stability can only be beneficial.

It’s obvious that the very small risk is outweighed by the enormous potential reward. Even if he doesn’t reach that height, he deserves the chance to try. It is undeniable to anyone who is not delusional that he has improved our squad and has earned a chance to continue his rebuild (and try to be the manager who benefits from that hard work). The time is now to choose a side of the fence: #OleIn or #OleOut. Besides a certain sect of “fans” who seem to hate all things United more than any Scouser could ever dream, I know which side most of us fall on. We’re the sane ones. The ones who love this club, whose days are made by a win and ruined with a loss. Let some people spew their ignorance, the facts speak for themselves.

Ole’s at the wheel, and he damn well should be. Hope this helps.

Sing it Loud! Sing it Proud!

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