Man Utd: Solskjaer defends decision to bench Bruno
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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been assured he’ll remain manager instead of first-team coach, reports say. The Red Devils have undergone a restructuring of their hierarchy behind the scenes. But the Norwegian is still very much the man in charge.
Manchester United went into the season looking to build on their third-placed finish last term.
And Solskjaer has overcome a stuttering start to have his side heading in the right direction, with the Red Devils sitting second in the Premier League table.
United also remain on track to win the Europa League, with the club yet to win any silverware since Jose Mourinho lifted the same trophy back in 2017.
Behind the scenes at Old Trafford, things have changed.
Woodward has given up some of his power, with John Murtough and Darren Fletcher now playing a vital role in the club’s recruitment.
And ESPN say that, during the process, Solskjaer has been promised he’ll stay ‘manager’ instead of ‘head coach’.
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The modern day manager’s role has changed, with many mainly in charge of coaching the players rather than getting involved in things behind the scenes.
But, with Solskjaer, United want to give the Norwegian as big a say in their future as possible.
The Norwegian was consulted over Murtough and Fletcher’s appointments and his positive relationship with the pair contributed to their internal promotions.
And he’ll be allowed to veto targets he doesn’t think are the right fit for the club.
In the years since Sir Alex Ferguson left Old Trafford, the Red Devils’ transfer record has been hit and miss. To put it mildly.
There have been hits such as Bruno Fernandes, Juan Mata, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
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Yet there have been some dud signings, too, such as Alexis Sanchez, Angel Di Maria, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Radamel Falcao.
Meanwhile, speaking recently, Solskjaer warned fans not to expect a busy summer due to the fact the coronavirus crisis is continuing to rumble on.
“[The pandemic] is definitely affecting everyone in football. Of course the lack of income, the finances have affected everyone,” he said.
“We have to be realistic and responsible in the way we do our business both on and off the pitch. There are improvements on the training ground, stadium – we have to look at the whole picture.
“Where can we spend the money? And how much is there? It’s just the real world now. It has changed.”
He then added: “You can look at it different ways [with a] rebuild. We also have players in the academy that we now can maybe give opportunities.
“All clubs in the world are going through the same situation so it’s no different for other clubs than for us. I think there’s just going to be less and less transfers happening in the world of football with all these changes.”
Woodward said three weeks ago that United had made ‘clear progress’ under Solskjaer.
“While the disruption to our operations remains significant, we are pleased by the tremendous resilience the club has demonstrated through the pandemic, underpinned by the dedication of our people and the strength of our commercial business,” Woodward said.
“We have been reminded of the importance of football as a source of community, entertainment and pride to fans around the world, even as we have sorely missed them at Old Trafford.
“The progress made by Ole and the players this season is clear and our thriving Academy and Women’s team are also adding to the optimism we feel about the future on and off the pitch.”
He then added: “In the near-term, our focus remains on preparing for the return of fans to Old Trafford.
“We are seeing some positive examples around the world of live events with reduced capacity crowds delivered safely with social distancing.
“The successful rapid rollout of vaccines and falling rate of infections in the UK makes us optimistic about the Government’s roadmap out of the lockdown, including plans for the gradual reopening of sports stadia to spectators beginning this spring.
“Initially this will be with limits on capacity, but we are hopeful of crowds ramping back up to full capacity next season.”
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