Consider yourself lucky if you’ve never had that feeling about a coach when he’s not awful and he’s not great, but you’d rather not sack him because you don’t trust ownership to hire someone. I imagine it’s a lot like purgatory when you know you’re damned. You’re just kind of floating there, knowing that the higher power is going to cast you down, so why not just exist in limbo? It’s better than the alternative.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær isn’t going to win Man U a ton of trophies, yet he’s just capable enough to not totally embarrass the club. Sunday’s matchup against Liverpool could go a long way in deciding his future at Old Trafford.
I have a gut feeling — maybe it’s because I’m a Liverpool fan and my general approach to fandom (and life) is optimism is perverse — that this will end in a draw.
The other, more realistic reason is this infuriating cycle of mental mishaps followed by impressive form has kept Gunnar in employment thus far, so any outcome other than one that would extend his employment wouldn’t make sense. It’s at Old Trafford, it’s not like Man U lacks talent, lapses in concentration from Liverpool’s defense are entirely plausible and rivalry games are always crazy.
They got knocked out of the Carabao Cup, lost or drew three of their past four EPL contests, went down 0-2 to Atalanta, but dramatically netted three in the second half to win 3-2. They’re due for another run.
I’d go as far as to predict a Man U win if I didn’t, you know, hate them. The fans will still want him gone, but ownership will drag this out like someone prolonging putting down their half-dead dog. It speaks to their incompetence that they’ve let it get this far.
Watch, Liverpool will blow them out 5-1 or something ridiculous, Gunnar will be gone, and I’ll look like a fool. And if not Liverpool, it could be Tottenham, Chelsea, or Man City that lands the death blow to Ole’s tenure before the end of November.
But I think they’re good enough to win one, draw two, and lose the other of those four upcoming fixtures against the EPL’s big six. That should be enough to keep them in the race for a Champions League bid and probably keep Solskjær at the helm. It’s a special kind of existence you’d wish on your worst enemy — and one that might keep going even if they do get thrashed.
Say he does get let go, who are they going to get to replace him? This would be their fifth coach since Sir Alex Ferguson left the sidelines in 2013. Do you really trust that ownership group to make the right decision?
Go ahead and ask God for your fate if you dare, we know where this leads, but leave me in purgatory because the only thing that awaits is torment.