Merson: Solskjaer ‘not a top manager’; Man Utd ‘tick along’
Paul Merson says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not a “top manager” and slammed the Manchester United board for not acting like “the biggest club in the world”.
United were dumped out of the Champions League last week after a disappointing 3-2 defeat to RB Leipzig.
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It was a result that ramped up the pressure on Solskjaer, with his tactics questioned as well as the way in which he dealt with the furore surrounding Paul Pogba.
And Merson – in his Daily Star star column – used the Norwegian’s decision not to take Fred off against PSG to illustrate a wider problem.
He wrote: “You know what PSG are like. You can’t leave Fred on the pitch when he’s on a booking. But he did, Fred got sent off, and they lose.
“Then he gets it horribly, horribly wrong against Leipzig. He plays three at the back and they’re 2-0 down inside 15 minutes.
“A top manager would have changed it straight away. But he didn’t. He waited until half time.
“He wasted all that time. And even though they did come back into it, it was too late. He’s not decisive enough. He doesn’t make the big decisions.
“Why did Pogba even travel? I don’t believe for a second that any of his team-mates were affected by what his agent said.
“But a top manager wouldn’t have let that become a distraction. A top manager would have left him at home. Solskjaer is not a top manager. Is he one of the 20 best managers in the world? No.
“United are the biggest club in the world. But I don’t know if their board still believe that. They don’t act like it.
“It’s like United are happy just to tick along. They’ve had umpteen chances to change the manager and they haven’t bothered.
“That suggests they’re happy with Solskjaer. That they want him to carry on. If they wanted Mauricio Pochettino in charge they would have done it already.
“I guarantee you that if Real Madrid had gone out of the group stage, Zinedine Zidane would be out of a job, and Pochettino would have been in there by the weekend.”