Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must deliver trophies now he has sanctioned several key signings during his reign, says football writer Andy Mitten.
United have spent well over £250m on players since Solskjaer took the job permanently in March 2019, including big-money moves last season for Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Donny van de Beek arrived in September this year and Edinson Cavani is the latest high-profile signing at Old Trafford, with the club completing a deal for the former Paris Saint-Germain forward – as well as Brazil left-back Alex Telles – on Deadline Day.
United finished third in the Premier League last season but have started 2020/21 disappointingly. Home defeats to Crystal Palace and Tottenham – the latter a 6-1 thrashing – and a fortunate last-gasp win at Brighton have seen the club heavily criticised once again.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Mitten – the editor of fanzine United We Stand – says although supporters don’t trust United’s recruitment policy, Solskjaer has to start delivering results on the pitch with the players he has signed.
“There’s just so little faith in the recruitment system because it’s been so mish-mash since 2013 and the club have spent a huge amount on players, but most of it has been spent really badly,” Mitten said.
“I did have confidence that Ole Gunnar was bringing in better players and was identifying better players and if you would have asked me three or four months ago – Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Bruno Fernandes, Dan James – I would have spoke pretty well about all of them. Less so now after the start to the season.
“They’re players who have played well in the past and I hope they’ll play well again in the future, but it is baffling how players who have looked so good collectively are now looking so bad.
“United need to start getting results. It will not be acceptable if the club start this season and in the runup to Christmas with as few wins as they had last year. There are minimum expectations and Ole Gunnar’s got to get results.
“I think the fans are still behind him. He’s been criticised because any team should that concedes six goals at home in a Premier League game – following on from another home defeat – and I think he holds his hands up himself and takes the blame for that.
“United fans would love it to work out with Ole Gunnar but are there doubts? Absolutely. Just as there were with Jose Mourinho, with Louis van Gaal, with David Moyes. It’s this rinse and repeat cycle which frustrates Manchester United fans.