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"He doesn't have a plan"

With the passing weeks it seems to me that the #OleOut prophesies look more likely. We have a wealth of experience of what it looks like when a manager gets into that death spiral, and with injuries and probable transfer window failures conspiring to exacerbate inconsistent performances, you can kind of see in Solskjaer's eyes the reflection of a miniature version of himself circling around the toilet bowl. We'll see.

Either way, there's a common refrain that clueless Ole "doesn't have a plan, doesn't have a direction he wants to move in". Whether he fails or not, this is embarrassingly naïve. Every manager at this level, whether they are failures or successes, whether a genius tactician or Iain Dowie, will have very detailed tactical plans. The hard part of the job isn't having a vision. The hard part is implementing it. Because sport is merciless and you're competing against other people who have detailed plans and will ruthlessly exploit the marginal weaknesses in your own.

It has become a cliché but Mike Tyson's "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth" is worth bearing in mind. Solskjaer stepped into Old Trafford wanting to play dynamic, high-pressing attacking football. In retrospect, it seems to have worked for about ten matches thanks to the adrenaline of sheer relief that Mourinho had left. We didn't have the players or the fitness to sustain that. But the summer friendlies demonstrated this was still Solskjaer's aspiration.

We've been punched in the face many times this season. Setbacks and circumstances mess up aspirations. Injuries. Shortcomings in the squad. Mistakes by players and by the manager. The plan isn't showing signs of coming to fruition. Perhaps the strategy to enact it was flawed (too much reliance on youth; not enough investment in the summer); perhaps the execution has been poor (that's on Solskjaer). Perhaps this is a plan with a medium-term cadence, and always relied on a fair bit of luck (avoiding a lot of those punches to the mouth) if it had a chance of bearing fruit in the short term.

Anyway, this isn't a binary pro-/anti-Ole article. I would apply the same to our previous failed managers.

- Mourinho's plan was for something that looked much better than what we saw on the field. He wanted a muscular, tactically savvy team with lots of flair in attack along the lines of his other title winning sides. Perhaps the plan was outdated, but it's hard to argue that he failed to execute what he set out to do.

- LVG didn't want turgid possession football that failed to break teams down. He wanted to dominate games and add attacking penetration. Whatever you think of his philosophy, we should all agree that he failed to translate it onto the field.

- Even Moyes had a coherent plan. He was a keen student of the game. He had ideas that worked on paper. The fatal problem was that his players looked at him and didn't see a leader of Manchester United. You can't implement a plan without being in it.

Right, I've been going on way too long. Slightly lost what I was saying. Basically, try not to get punched in the face.

posted on 24/1/20

Can’t think of anyone else. Probably ‘could’ have been Wenger 😂

posted on 24/1/20

comment by Vidicschin (U3584)
posted 28 minutes ago
comment by meltonblue (U10617)
posted 8 minutes ago
Yeah, I’d rather have Guardiola still though!
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Melts

City look like they need a bit of a rebuild to me. It will be interesting to see if Pep sticks around for this.

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We do and I think he will for at least one more season. It was always going to need a bit with Silva and Aguero approaching the end, who have both been brilliant professionals throughout with us. Biggest issue this season has been losing Kompany though, as much for his influence in general rather than on the pitch.

posted on 24/1/20

Then he’ll go to Juventus

posted on 24/1/20

comment by meltonblue (U10617)
posted 13 minutes ago
Then he’ll go to Juventus
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I reckon PSG might be his next stop.

posted on 25/1/20

I’m pretty certain he won’t go there, Serie A isn’t interesting enough. I doubt after being with us he’d go there either unless he fell out with Mansour.

posted on 25/1/20

comment by Vidicschin (U3584)
posted 5 hours, 29 minutes ago
that's right he needed recruitment, handled by others, to give him the tools to do what they have done.

if he was united coach now he'd be in exactly same spot as Ole, needing to sell a lot and bring a lot in.

extremely unfair to compare the two situations.

.....

Only an idiot would to be fair.
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Only an idiot thinks Klopp has players handed to him and he just coaches them.

Don’t be an idiot VC

posted on 25/1/20

We would not have bought the players we have now without the approval of Klopp.

We played very good when Klopp was appointed. There was a clear improvement with 2 finals and the only thing we lacked was a world class defender and keeper.

Mason the King Greenwood is spot on about Klopp.

Darren and Red Russian are the best posters on the Man United board.

posted on 25/1/20

comment by Tiddles (U17634)
posted 9 hours, 29 minutes ago
comment by Vidicschin (U3584)
posted 5 hours, 29 minutes ago
that's right he needed recruitment, handled by others, to give him the tools to do what they have done.

if he was united coach now he'd be in exactly same spot as Ole, needing to sell a lot and bring a lot in.

extremely unfair to compare the two situations.

.....

Only an idiot would to be fair.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Only an idiot thinks Klopp has players handed to him and he just coaches them.

Don’t be an idiot VC
----------------------------------------------------------------------

posted on 25/1/20

Quality article RR.

I know a sunday league coach that has in depth plans, sends people out to see the next team they play, etc.

The idea that someone who won a Norwegian league and has beat the likes of PSG, Chelsea, City etc has zero plan is ludicrous.

Whether he has 1) The players and 2) The managerial skills is the big question.

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