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Man Utd’s ‘verbal agreement’ in place set to act for Solskjaer successor

The report’s out allegedly claiming that Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has verbal agreement with the United hierarchy to assume the position of gaffer when the the position is finally available as and when it happens.

It’s no longer news anymore that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had to cower under growing intense scrutiny and pressure brought to bear on him as the results have not been constant nor forthcoming, as evidenced by their recent derby debacle at Old Trafford that served to show the immense chasm between both Manchester sides, particularly to United’s clear disadvantage.

Saturday’s fracas proved to be a futile, toothless display against a venerable opponent and bitter rival that has clearly clearly moved way ahead since the shift of power and ascendancy between the Manchester rivals long ago after ‘The 6-1’ and the post-Alex Ferguson era. The recent 2-0 derby loss at home to Manchester City further intensified the pressure, especially with Pep Guardiola’s City team not even looking the least bit bothered to score but toyed around instead with their hapless rivals by showing off their superior passing at will, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s looking absolutely befuddled, scared and silly.

Earlier reports emerging just prior to the derby debacle right after the 5-0 whitewash and total dismantling by a clearly superior Liverpool squad had definitely not been kind to the Norwegian, suggesting that he had three games to save his job before the international break.

Solkjaer’s Red Devils subsequently did their level best to respond positively by beating a dismal, disillusioned Tottenham side 3-0, which took off quite a bit of the shine from their victory. But they then struggled to a 2-2 Champions League draw with Atalanta, saved by a gallant Cristiano Ronaldo, again, before going down embarrassingly to the Citizens in a match that clearly separated the men from the boys, despite the modest scoreline suggesting otherwise. It was definitely not a derby by any standards, one without any tackles and without any fight.

What was more scary than the loss was the almost cheeky manner in which the City squad so effortless made a complete mockery of the Red Devils, rendering the match a City masterclass in ‘possession-ball’ instead of football. And all that the United gaffer could come up with post-match were his usual deluded match analysis, feeble excuses and obvious self-denial in still being adamant that he is the man to turn things around at Old Trafford.

As this seems to be turning coincidentally into a riotous manager-sacking season in the top flight, with the likes of Steve Bruce, Nuno Espirito Santo, Daniel Farke and Dean Smith all unceremoniously jettisoned from their perches. And Solskjaer could be the next amigo facing an incensed lynch mob if current reports hold water.

Like they say, there’s no smoke without a fire. And a flurry of smoke signals have seen various names linked with the Old Trafford hot-seat wafting above the United fort, with the latest addition being German Ralf Rangnick – head of sports and development at Russian outfit Lokomotiv Moscow – being touted as another likely replacement on Sunday. However, closer monitoring of the radar suggests that that Leicester chief Brendan Rodgers had already been approached well in advance of the current events at United and have supposedly agreed to take the job once there the vacancy avails itself.

Northern Irishman Rodgers’ stock has been on an upsurge since moving to the King Power Stadium from Celtic, wrapping up two leagues titles under his belt, besides lifting a couple of Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups during his tenure in the cold climes of Glasgow.

Despite managing in the Premier League being an entirely different, tougher proposition, he has most creditably navigated the East Midlanders to back-to-back fifth-place finishes, which is certainly no mean feat.

Popularly considered one of the best coaches in the Premier League, the former Swansea chief has been hotly linked with United in recent weeks in view of the spate of lamentable results churned out by a disenfranchised United squad obviously not lacking in highly-talented, world-class players. Ruefully, decisive and incisive team selection and management savvy in the area of deployment of player strategies are sadly lacking and this is attributable to the Norwegian boss who is clearly and undeniably punching well above his category in terms of weight and category in terms of both pedigree and experience.

However, if the reports quickly surfacing are true, developments to address and remedy all that are at a more advanced stage than first thought. One would be truly naïve to assume that the United owners and top hierarchy are indeed gullible and contented to just sit passively twiddling their thumbs, while their clueless manager is still amusing himself wading through the basics of his football management 101-course experimenting with different tactical strategies to try out. While out-going Ed Woodward has shown himself prone to the Norwegian’s cause, the Glazers have long proven themselves to be a different kettle of fish altogether.

Although many pundits are inclined to argue that ‘Baby-Face Assassin’ Solskjaer’s status as a popular club-playing legend has definitely bought him time and saving grace at Old Trafford. However, sentiments of loyalty aside, the travesty of gross incompetence cannot be allowed to transgress indefinitely. Many managers have been sacked for much less than the disastrous results perpetrated by Solskjaer.

Six losses from their last 12 games across all competitions should clearly see a full assortment of knives, daggers and stilletos already being brought out and flung in Solskjaer’s direction. It’s definitely way past the time to again warn that he needs to turn things around quickly. That’s a cliché too worn-out by now in his case.

As for the latest smoke signals growing larger about the Leicester gaffer having already been put on standby after an alleged mutual agreement between him and United to officially take over once Ole is out, it is a small smudge on his records that not only did he not win a trophy despite spending three years in charge at Liverpool but was sacked in October 2015, it is undeniable that he has earned the right to manage among the Big Six again. It is not even whether he deserves to join Manchester United.

It’s come down to whether Manchester United deserve to have Brendan Rodgers as their gaffer.

Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia