Fans put forward Solskjaer scenario to make way for new Man Utd head coach

Date published: Wednesday 12th February 2020 2:36

Manchester United fans discuss their summer spending and Mauricio Pochettino, while Liverpool fans debate whether Philippe Coutinho is worth re-signing, all in our forum.

Join in the debate here…


The Coutinho return debate

It seems this situation won’t go away and I’m not bloody helping it am I? Lol.

I liked Phil, fantastic player and was sad to see him leave but obviously glad with what we did with some of his transfer money and believe that if that transfer to Barca had not happened then maybe Virgil and Alisson may not have arrived and consequently not won what we won last May and currently hold a 22 point lead at the top of the league in mid Feb.

But, would like to consider the pros and cons if we did buy him back:


Another top player to our squad especially if we lose other mids in the summer (Lallana, Shaqiri)?

Another attacking option and a bloody good one. Even with our success this season we’ve seen games that could have gone either way or drawn and a plan B (not saying Phil would be that as a 70 million or whatever is a very expensive plan B) but his skillset and the fact that he is completely different to any mid we have could have finished games off completely.


Could the potential purchase price be used elsewhere to better balance what we have? Back up left back, lower cost mid, a centre forward, a back up keeper if Adrian leaves?

Would it upset the chemistry and balance we have now within the squad in other words if it ain’t broke…..?

Would it halt the development and progress of Curtis Jones?

Does a returning player ever continue where he left off. Historically for us it’s been very indifferent.

Your thoughts but before you do please look at it from both sides and try and give an argument for a yea or nay not just ‘he can bu**er off, he made his bed etc.’

Me, personally, if the price is right, I’d re-sign him but only if that price is right. Only.

Rob Fort Worth TX


Klopp won’t have Coutinho back

A few things. This is not going to happen while Klopp is here. The way he left is why we wouldn’t have him back. Klopp won’t have players who want out when the going’s tough and then want back in when things don’t go their way elsewhere. He’s all smiles on the surface but behind the scenes he’s already shown how ruthless he can be.

The next is his price tag. He’s 28 in the summer and would cost around 70mil if reports are to be believed. Why would we pay that money for Coutinho and his wages which would rank at the top of the club when we could make moves for younger players who wouldn’t cost as much? They would have space and time to develop in an established team and may be able to perform at that level in 1 or 2 seasons. A player like this would arguably be a better fit for us and I’d argue that we already have such a player with a fit Keita who’s better suited for our style of play. If he’s not signed for the midfield and instead for the front 3, then banking on someone like Sancho with a seemingly unlimited ceiling, would make far more sense for big money.

From a playing perspective we’ve changed the way we play since that time. If we do get him, he would need to do both sides of the game well and that includes an extremely detailed and unique pressing system that players outside the club won’t have experienced before and I seriously doubt that he can. Also when he left, the word is that Klopp had the final say and decided to let him go because we were too predictable going forward with him in the team. We either run the risk of reverting back to this or he’d be coming back into an entirely different system that wouldn’t accommodate him anymore which leads me to my next point.

I’ve said elsewhere that the club has a philosophy where we can make plan A better instead of having a plan B when plan A goes wrong. Signing a player like Coutinho would undoubtedly be a plan B signing and that’s just not how we work these days.



In his last two seasons for us, Coutinho scored 14 in 36 appearances, and 12 in 20 appearances. On average, a goal every 2 games.

Since leaving, he’s scored 10 in 22, 11 in 54, and currently at Bayern he’s scored 7 in 27. On average, a goal every 4 games. He may not have been very settled since he left us, but how likely is it that he could repeat the stats and form he showed for us before he left?

All depends where his head is at. Admittedly, it’s tempting to think Klopp is charismatic enough to get him back to his best. But my feeling is that Coutinho has probably mentally drifted too far and lost confidence since his move to Barca all went Pete Tong, as his mixed form seems to suggest.

Apparently Barca are still looking for £70 million. Even if they dropped to £50 million, it’s still too much and risk for me.



He is a very good player who can help us a lot.
He pressed to leave even in the middle of the season.
He is about 27 and 77 mil are a lot.
I would prefer Werner for 60 mil for various reasons.

Sancho and Harvetz for about 100 mil each one is a risk…
Klopp generally prefers players about 25 years old and not more than 50 mil.
There are exceptions with Virgil and Alisson but we had to do it!!
These ‘headaches’ are very nice.



He is now too big a risk for that price. As you say Rob, returning players don’t usually deliver to the degree they did before, but even if he does, I don’t think it’s a club policy to pay that kind of money for that age of a player.

I’m not really bitter that he left as he made a choice that most footballers would at the time. The reality is that we won’t have recouped a fair bit of the cash as many of the targets weren’t met(I believe).

In addition, he missed 6-8 weeks of most seasons with us due to injury.

Surely, we’d be better risking buying another young or couple of young players and take a chance on them? The transfer policy has been top class with Klopp so far. Why change it to bring back a player who will be 28 in June?



Do we need him?

Are we really in a position where we need this to happen? The reality is that we sold him and 2 years later we’re the best team in the world. Without him we reached 2 CL finals in a row, almost won the PL last year and are probably going to win it this time around. I don’t understand where people are looking to find this correlation that we’ve been worse off without him or that we would be better with him.

In that same time, he’s shown that he isn’t as effective when he isn’t the focal point of a team and that his potshots from distance aren’t appreciated at a club that has more emphasis on build up play. We struggled to break teams down often enough when he was here but rarely have that issue without him. From this perspective, what could he possibly add to the entire team ethic and play without taking away massively from other areas of the team? With hindsight, it seems to me that we’ve been far better off without him here.






Healthy budget

£200m a year isn’t a bad budget for players though. Surely within 2/3 years that would lead to a good squad?



Pogba will be sold for +100m so there is no reason that we should not be spending at least 200m in the summer.



@happy – Open your eyes mate, look at the state we are currently in despite massive investment in the squad over the last 6 years.
Why do you think giving Ole yet another 200m this summer is going to make a blind bit of difference? His summer transfer business hasn’t exactly improved us, just one look at the league table is proof of that, and to be 4 points behind a team like Sheff Utd with two thirds of the season already gone is nothing short of a disgrace from all concerned, simple as that.



Blacky – I think it will make a difference because the recruitment is different. We’re not signing the likes of Sanchez anymore we’re signing Fernandes. We’re not going for Darmian we’re going for AWB.

Ole has nothing to do with the last 6 years or recruitment has he? Anyway it all seems largely irrelevant now as Ed is obviously in talks with Pochettino…



@happy – Take your head out of your a**e for once mate, we massively overpaid for both Slabhead and AWB last summer, and it’s far too early to start trumpeting Bruno Fernandes as a top signing just yet.
The same clueless wankers that have been pulling the strings over the last 6 years are still doing so now, Ole is just the convenient fall guy for when it all goes tits up yet again, simple as that.




Dont know where the £200M is coming from. People falling for Ed’s media spin. If you count the Lukaku fee the total spend is about £120M. Through in the possible Smalling fee and other smaller outgoings and its under £100M. The summer before we spent about £70M. So yet again Ed is full of shit. We’ll fuck Pogba off in the summer and use the money to get Grealish and Sancho for a zero net spend. Anyone notice the part about how Fernandes was a summer 2020 target and signing. Subtly letting it be known that it’ll be one less in the summer because we got Fernandes in Jan.

How anyone can fall for all Ed’s bulls**t is beyond me when you look at the past 6 years of his tenure. That load of bollix he was waffling the other day was to keep the sponsors sweet. I am sure a few arses are twitching amongst them as they are paying Utd top dollar yet we are more like an also ran these days fighting with the likes of Sheffield Utd for league position.

Now he has that pr*ck Ashton there’ll be more of this nonsense. Giving ‘exclusive’ interviews and then the Mail and other rags that Ashton used to work for putting a positive spin on it. F**king laughable



N1xer – Yeah i get all that. The simple point i’m making here is – he’s backed himself into a corner like never before. There’s no way he could now go and spend 70m in the summer and get away with it. There’d be mass protests and walk outs surely? To retain the backing of the fans, whose patience is wearing very fucking thin, they have to go balls out in the summer. They have to land some serious fu**ing talent and at least show some sort of ambition to try to close the gap that Liverpool and City have opened up on us.

I’d say right now Pochettino has been told that unless Ole does something miraculous, like wins the Europa league and FA Cup, he’ll be sacked and then the job is his. It’s a waiting game to see how the team finishes the season, if players come back and we go on some sort of run then maybe Ole will stay. But the more i look at it now it seems like the situation we had with LVG and Jose waiting in the wings.



Pochettino in the hunt

With Pocchetino pictured alongside Woodward’s advisor, think it’s a clear sign that Woodward is lining him up to replace Ole is things go tits up from now until the end of the season (i.e. no Champions League football).

But if Pocchetino is in a position to demand that a DoF if installed before he takes his role on, would be a good thing all round for the club – anything to get Woodward away from the football side of things.

Sympathy for the Devils


Ole going upstairs?

Ole to be moved upstairs to the DoF role and Poch to be bought in as Head Coach as part of a ‘management restructuring’? General face saving exercise all round, claim Ole has cleared out the squad and set recruitment in the direction of the type of player Man Utd want and reopened the link between the youth squads and first team. Poch to come in and coach these players to success?

If this scenario (or similar) doesn’t happen at the end of the season then I think Ole will be given until the end of next season before his position is under threat ~ earliest next Christmas if we are in dire straits.



Would Ole really want to be shifted to the side/upstairs here? I thought he’d be a good DoF before but I’m not so sure he’d be able to pull it off now.

If he goes, he’s got to go as he’ll be a bit of a laughing stock come the end of the season, he’ll also be seen as a yes man and that’s not the position you want to be in as a DoF.






Woodward bad at spending 


“200m a year isn’t a bad budget for players though. Surely within 2/3 years that would lead to a good squad?”

@steveosnakeeye provided a list of transfers from SAF stopped up until and including OGS signings. We’ve all been over that list countless times in debates on this forum and, quite frankly, it’s not a pretty sight. When I measure those players, I look at two aspects:

Category 1) Have they displayed ability and consistency in keeping with the United standard: Meaning, have they had an impact and overall played in a way that could help United challenge for major titles.

Category 2) Have they had a successful stint at United: Meaning, even if a player is found wanting in terms on living up to the United standard, has that player still played to the best of his ability and done well for the team. (not performed to the United standard, but still done well for the team).

For the purposes of this argument, I divide the list of transfers into before and after OGS became manager.

Before OGS
To only me only one player falls in Category 1, Zlatan, and only 3 players falls in Category 2, Herrera, Romero and Fred (with the latter still being under scrutiny).

Everyone else has overall, in different ways, been unsuccessful at United.

That’s a list of 25 players where only 1 – an aging stop-gap solution – has played to the United standard; and only did so for 1 year. And where only 3 other players can be said to have had a successful stint at United.

In short: If you happen to be head of United’s scouting and recruiting, you’re just not very good at your job.

After OGS
A much shorter list made up of James, Maguire and AWB. None of these players seem to fall into Category 1. They’ve only been with us for half a season+, but there aren’t any real indicators that we have a new Ferdinand, Evra and Giggs on our hands with those three. I’d say that James and AWB narrowly makes it into Category 2 thus far, with Maguire being mediocre.

Where does that leave us?
When you have displayed a hit and miss ratio like the above, you instil fans with very little hope that splashing more cash will help United get back to where we belong: Consistently challenging for major titles.

Woodward and Co. seem to be very bad at spending money on players.

What about OGS?
I can’t figure it out. Is he learning how to handle the job or is he just out of his depth? He’s inconsistent, that’s for sure. Beat Pep and Mourinho inside the space of one week, next week results are horrible. Right now, his results leave little hope that he is simply learning how to handle the job and that he can become a success as manager at Old Trafford. And in a time where fan patience, including my own, is wearing thin, that’s not an attractive quality. Maybe I’m being naive, but I’m still undecided, and I’d be in favour of giving him more time. Let him have two full seasons in charge and see what the results are. Mostly because of this:

It seems to me that OGS has done two things that other managers haven’t quite managed to do to the same extent:

1) Decrease the amount of deadwood at the club (still a loooong way to go before all deadwood is gone, of course) and

2) increase the number of players in the starting 11 that actually give a damn about being on the pitch: Fred, McT, Rashford, James, AWB, Maguire et al.

That’ll only take us so far, granted. We need better players who give a damn about being in the starting 11 and wearing our shirt. And given our transfer record as described above, we need a massive overhaul of the club at management level before we can take real steps towards getting better players and getting back to where we belong. And I don’t like the odds of that happening.

But it’s imperative that start doing better in the transfer market. 4 out 25 simply isn’t good enough.


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