Solskjaer’s Manchester United nightmare shows football has no room for sentiment

We all like nostalgia in football. We like looking at the past and remembering how good things were and we like it went old favourites return to the present time.

But that want for old heroes to do well rarely goes hand in hand with football, and I think that is showing with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the moment.

There is no doubting that the Norwegian is a legend at Manchester United, in an era where the term legend is used too often.

His playing record speaks for itself, but I think many Manchester United fans were lying to themselves if they thought his managerial record warranted the Old Trafford hot seat.

At the time you could see why the club’s hierachy made the choice. The big names hadn’t worked as they would have liked, with a second placed finish for United under Jose Mourinho providing light in otherwise unusually dark years.

The appointment was something different, a stab at something new.

It was a sentimental appointment in many ways, but that doesn’t really work in football. Less so in the modern era.

You can argue Mikel Arteta was a sentimental appointment in a way with his links to Arsenal. But it is a bit different to Solskjaer’s situation.

Arteta was an up and coming coach who had already worked and succeeded in the top flight, albeit it as a number two.

Solskjaer has had ups and downs. The spell when he first arrived, the new manager bounce I think it’s called in the book of footballing cliches.

But ever since then, apart from the odd flashes, it hasn’t worked.

He has spent enough to keep some other clubs floating for years, but hasn’t really undergone the same scrutiny big names would have if they spent that amount of money.

I think many football fans, even neutrals, would like it to work for Solskjaer.

Everyone loves an old favourite to come back and do the business. Solskjaer’s a well liked guy by many people in the footballing world.

But as Mourinho outlined in the recent Amazon documentary, you win nothing by being nice. He described it in a more crude way but I won’t go down that route!

My point is Solskjaer never really merited the job in the first place, and he merits it less so right now.

Titles in Norway followed by a relegation with Cardiff City isn’t the pedigree of a Manchester United manager.

They’ve tried the left field appointment, it hasn’t worked.

I for one was glad when United dropped off their perch post Ferguson, but its almost painful to see a club as big as United suffering after spending so much money.

When Roy Keane, a man who usually speaks his mind no matter what, is throwing away his credibility to back Solskjaer simply because he’s a former team mate, then you know the writing is on the wall.

I get the argument that it is down to the players at the end of the day. Yes, to a degree that is true but ultimately the buck stops with the manager.

I don’t know what the future is in terms of a manager on the red half of Manchester but I don’t think it involves Solskjaer.

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