Pundit expects Solskjaer sacking and fears Man Utd derby horror show

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Paul Merson believes that Manchester United will sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer if he does not get a positive result from Saturday’s Manchester derby.

United head into the clash with rivals City under immense pressure following their Champions League exit.

The Red Devils went 2-0 down to RB Leipzig on Tuesday but, unlike in previous matches, did not achieve a comeback. Indeed, they clawed it back to 3-2 but ultimately needed a point to progress to the last 16.

Solskjaer has already pressure over his tenure this season. However, recent reports have claimed that the Norwegian is losing faith among his players, who have contrasting views over his leadership.

In fact, writing in a column for Sky Sports, Merson said that this weekend’s match is “make or break”.

He wrote: “For me, this is a massive football match. I would say that if he doesn’t get through this, that could be it. I think it’s make or break for Ole. That is, unless Man Utd have a different plan, and think differently about this club than everyone else.

“Do Man Utd want anyone else? Are they comfortable with this situation? They run the show, there’s no pressure, do they like that?

Ed Woodward Man Utd

“Do the people who run Man Utd think they are the biggest club in football? Do they think like me, or do they think ‘we’re not that team anymore’?

“Would Zinedine Zidane be in a job today if Real Madrid hadn’t made the last 16 of the Champions League? Definitely not. They would have gone off the idea that they are the biggest club in the world, and would have made that decision.

“I’d love to know whether those people running Manchester United are happy where they are. I don’t get that feeling from the board that they believe they’re the biggest team in the world.”

Merson warns of horror show

United completed a Premier League double over City last season, playing to their strengths on the counter-attack.

This season’s overarching theme, though, has been for the Red Devils’ to recover from a goal or more down.

But Merson said that conceding the first goal will be fatal against City.

“If Man Utd go 1-0 down, you can say goodnight,” the pundit said. “They can’t keep going behind in football matches. It will only last so long. If Man City go a goal up, they may well sit back and try to rip them to shreds on the break.

“Solskjaer came out after the West Ham game and said it was a massive result because West Ham had taken points here and there. This is Man Utd.



“Just because West Ham beat Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Fulham. How can you say that if you’re manager of Man Utd? You should come out and say: ‘We should beat these teams, we’re Man Utd, we’ve got better players.’

“Man Utd keep giving teams head-starts. The Saints game, the West Ham game, the RB Leipzig game, they shouldn’t have lost against PSG. They were terrible in the first half against West Ham, and I mean terrible.

“Man Utd can’t put a 90 minutes together, and I think soon enough they’re going to get beaten badly like they were against Tottenham.”

Merson added that Marcus Rashford could start on the bench and prove to be a “massive asset” as a substitute.

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