Solskjaer in front of doubters, with recent results helping
The start of the season has been poor, but things improved with two Champions League results and a result against Newcastle. They got out of jail at Newcastle with a good attacking display, but the two Champions League performances - against PSG and Leipzig - were very impressive. Ole is doing OK. He is fighting against his doubters at the moment, but I think he is in front.
We have been in this position before with United, making progress then sacking managers. We will have to wait and see with Solskjaer. The doubters come out in force when he loses a game – there are a lot of people who don’t want him in the job, they want a bigger name, they want a bigger manager.
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You can only manage the problem so far given who is upstairs. There will be highs like the two Champions League games.
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United and Arsenal will find it difficult to generate intensity
Both have got problems upstairs and both clubs do not want to spend money. Both clubs have high expectations, but they have rookie managers in charge. One has won a trophy and the other one hasn't.
What is going on off the field is dragging football in at the moment, and football is struggling. It is losing its edge. If the ordinary person is feeling down, it will affect footballers too.
The big games are turning into something of a damp squib at the moment, with no fans there. But Mikel Arteta has made Arsenal hungrier than they have looked in years. You knew under the latter years of Arsene Wenger if they went behind they wouldn’t have the fight to come back.
Manchester United - FC Arsenal
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The younger players have really come on, and it has embarrassed the older ones to pull their socks up. This game is all about who can get their head around nobody watching. Who can deal with it best and show the most ambition and endeavour? If it is another game like the Chelsea game when both managers do everything not to lose the game it will be worse than a damp squib, it will be a drenched squib.
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If the Premier League is going to have five subs then the Championship should get it too. It is more physically draining in the Championship. In a normal season, you cannot have it all the time, as it will be abused. It cannot be there as a tactic. It should be not allowed for managers to appease players, saying they will get more game time. Then there is more timewasting, things like that.
It is the big sides who will gain from it and the smaller sides who will lose out.
Mourinho right to call out Alli and co in public?
There are different characters in the game now. In the past, the way Jose treats his players would have been the norm, but now you cannot speak to players in England like that.
It is different abroad. If an English manager would go overseas and speak about his players the way Jose does, then they would not last long. They would want him to respect international players of that country. We are the only country that tolerates it. Dele Alli should not be treated the way he is by Mourinho, here.
It is all well and good speaking to your coaching staff about your players, but you should not be saying it in public.
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