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Opinion: Decision over Solskjaer future needs to be made sooner rather than later

It couldn’t have been timed better.

Mauricio Pochettino, almost exactly a year after being dismissed by Tottenham Hotspur, reappeared on our television screens with wavy hair and a charismatic smile, just when Manchester United seem to have hit a run of poor form.

United produced a poor result and performance in Istanbul midweek against Basaksehir. 

The Manchester Evening News are now reporting that Man United have made contact with Pochettino’s representatives about the possibility of him taking over at Old Trafford from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United’s latest defeat comes after a lacklustre performances in the league at home to Arsenal and Chelsea, although there have been positive results in the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig.

However, United find themselves 15th in the Premier League with a game in hand.  Once again, it has been a slow start from Solskjaer and his men, with uninspiring performances and questionable tactics resulting in bad results.

So, where exactly do United go from here?

Many believe that the time for Solskjaer to be replaced has come and that he isn’t doing a good enough job.  However, there is an argument that Solskjaer has done well.  He inherited a club seemingly in crisis after the sacking of Jose Mourinho and achieved some immediate success, particularly in the Champions League against PSG.

Despite some bad periods last season, he did manage to lead them to a Top Four finish and to three cup semi-finals.

Under Solskjaer’s reign, many players have improved, most importantly the attacks: Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.

And yet, United are off to another poor start in what was a season where some thought they could possibly kick on and challenge Liverpool and Man City.

The recent form has been concerning, the performances that can only be described as scared and uninspiring against Chelsea and Arsenal.  United found real success against the other Top Six clubs last year, however, in three home games against Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal, United have only collected one point.

The tactics in recent weeks have been questionable, with some curious line ups and formations which have not offered much of an attacking threat.

So, should United sack Solskjaer? Maybe.

What would Pochettino achieve if he were to come in now?

He would be tasked with recovering the league form and getting United up the table, as well as making sure they get out of the Champions League group and potentially doing some damage in the knockouts.

If a switch were to be made during the upcoming international break, he would have some favourable early fixtures but would have to face PSG and Leipzig in the Champions League.  The first major test in the league would come against Man City on December 12th.

He would have to figure out the system and players he is happy with quickly with the intense schedule of this season picking up during the Christmas period.

United now have a decision to make.  This has not been the start to the season they had hoped for and Pochettino has made it clear he intends to return to the world of management. “My energy is full, I would love to return to the game,” he said on Monday night.

Whatever the decision, it needs to be made sooner rather than later.

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