Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the former manager of Manchester United, expressed sympathy for the incumbent Erik ten Hag, who is under pressure following a shaky start to the season.
United has dropped three of its first five Premier League games, and its upcoming Champions League match against Bayern Munich comes later on Wednesday.
Managing the Old Trafford club is particularly difficult, according to Solskjaer, fired in November 2021 following a string of unsuccessful performances, because parallels to Alex Ferguson’s trophy-laden reign are often drawn.
“I am aware of his struggles. Although challenging, it’s a dream job, according to Solskjaer in an interview with The Athletic.
This isn’t a computer simulation; you’re dealing with real people and their issues and histories. However, most (players) are good professionals who aim to succeed. Most people think of the club when they first consider number one.
As a result of missing out on top targets like Jude Bellingham, Harry Kane, and Declan Rice, according to Solskjaer, United now struggles to attract the kind of players who, in the past, would have required little persuading to join.
The Norwegian stated, “The expectations are quite high, but we can’t live in the same age as when I played. “Toward the finish, we faced competition from Arsenal and Chelsea. Now, most clubs have money, and even those that don’t don’t need to sell.
The best young players at the time were Wayne (Rooney) and Cristiano (Ronaldo), therefore we signed them. United is no longer able to purchase Evan Ferguson.
“We couldn’t purchase the players I mentioned to the club. Jude Bellingham is a player who would have fit in well at Manchester United, but I appreciate his decision to sign with Dortmund. That probably made sense.
“I would have signed Kane every day of the week, and I thought he wanted to come,” said the author. However, the club lacked a budget due to COVID-19’s financial restrictions; there was no bottomless pit.
Ronaldo’s return to United in August 2021 fell short of expectations, and a little over a year later, the Portuguese star left the club under difficult circumstances.
“I felt we had to take it because it was a decision that was very difficult to reject, but it turned out to be wrong,” Solskjaer added. The supporters at that Newcastle game, when Old Trafford was shaking (after Ronaldo scored twice in a 4-1 victory, felt that it seemed “so right” when he signed) agreed that it felt “so right.”
He still ranked among the top goal-scorers in the world and appeared to be in good physical shape.
The closest Solskjaer came to winning a trophy while coaching United was the 2021 Europa League final, which they lost to Villarreal on penalties. Nearly two years ago, his tenure ended with a 4-1 thrashing at Watford, a performance that Solskjaer claimed he knew would cost him his job.
“Nobody told me, but I knew at halftime against Watford,” he claimed. The players weren’t rushing to each other like a Man United team should be; we didn’t appear like one. I instructed the players to play pridefully during the second half because it was possibly the last time we would work together.
We were close to winning until Harry Maguire was dismissed.