Former midfielder Paul Scholes believes that Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves at least this season to take the club forward and prove that he can win trophies.
Despite making a relatively strong start to the Premier League season, finding themselves fourth in the table and just two points shy of the summit after seven games, a section of United supporters have started to call for Solskjaer to be sacked.
Those demands came in the wake of disappointing results against Aston Villa and Everton prior to the international break, with the Old Trafford double-header returning just one point.
After bringing the likes of Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo to the club in a memorable summer transfer window, Solskjaer is under huge pressure to deliver the goods this season and end United’s trophy drought.
Despite calls from some United fans for Solskjaer to be axed, former United midfield ace Scholes — who, of course, played alongside the Norwegian — insists the manager deserves this season, at least, to prove that he can deliver the goods now he has the squad he’s wanted.
Scholes told The Overlap : “I think he deserves a chance. If you think about the last three or four years about where United had been, it has been shocking, hasn’t it? It had not been great to watch before he came.
“It has took him two or three years to build a squad where we think the pieces are there to the puzzle, it’s just getting them in that right organisation.
“There was a lot of excitement at the start of the season after four or five games; they beat Newcastle (4-1) and beat Leeds (5-1) and the last two games [Villa and Everton] have been disappointing.
“But I think he deserves a chance. He has built a squad where he should be given a year, at least this season, to show that he can manage that and win trophies.”
Scholes has suggested that the roles between United and City in Manchester have reversed but admitted Solskjaer needs to settle on his strongest team to achieve that ambition of catching Pep Guardiola’s title-winning Blues.
“If you go back to the Europa League final against Villarreal, he could not make a sub. He couldn’t make a sub because his bench and his squad just wasn’t good enough,” Scholes continued. “Now he could probably make four or five changes.
“The one thing I would say about the last two games, especially the Everton one, I don’t think Man United are in a position to rest players. They are nowhere near good enough to rest players. They have to play their best team right from the off.
“If you went back 10 or 15 years, yes, you would probably get away with it. Look at City now, they would probably get away with it. I am not sure about Liverpool, but City have got two teams. You can rest players against these lesser teams and expect to win games.
“But for this season for Ole, I think you have to feel them coming. Again with City, when they won the league, looking back 10 years, you felt it coming. They were really putting pressure on teams.
“With Liverpool, you felt them coming and got really close to Man City. I think they lost out by a point or something.
“I think for this season, being acceptable, you have to feel the team coming, just as City and Liverpool did.”