Man Utd owners Glazers may have ideal plan if Cristiano Ronaldo saves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Manchester United could formulate the perfect plan to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer if Cristiano Ronaldo continues to rescue results. On Tuesday, Ronaldo played a starring role as United fought back from behind twice to draw 2-2 at Atalanta in the Champions League.
Ronaldo’s stunning double was his latest storyline-shifting contribution after scoring the decisive goal in United’s previous wins against Villarreal and Atalanta at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have endured a poor start to the Premier League season and are currently sitting fifth, eight points behind leaders Chelsea.
But Ronaldo has been directly involved in five goals in six league games since his summer return, firmly cementing himself as Solskjaer’s main man.
And had the 36-year-old not returned in August, Solskjaer may have found himself in a more precarious position than he’s in now.
It’s become apparent among many United fans that the Norwegian boss – while a club legend – won’t be the man to guide the club back to the glory days.
‘Lesser’ teams have tactically outclassed Solskjaer’s side, and consistently lacklustre displays this season culminated in last month’s 5-0 humiliation at home to Liverpool.
But if Ronaldo continues to score goals – which seems a given – United should be on course for a top-four finish and are expected to reach the Champions League knockout stages.
While Solskjaer, now in his third full season at the helm, needs to win a trophy come May, the above scenario wouldn’t be disastrous.
However, it would call for a change next summer and the arrival of a candidate capable of taking this incredible squad to the next level. That candidate could be Ajax’s Erik ten Hag.
The Dutch coach is among the favourites to replace Solskjaer if he can’t turn around United’s results in the coming weeks.
But there have been suggestions that he’s unwilling to abandon Ajax midway through the season, and with good reason.
Ten Hag’s outfit are flying this term, sitting atop their Champions League group with four wins in four games – two of which came home and away against Borussia Dortmund.
His philosophy of playing attacking football with technical players while regularly incorporating youth into his plans make him a dream successor.
And suppose he’s not available until the end of the season. In that case, the Glazers could be hoping that Ronaldo can keep Solskjaer’s head above water until that period before making an approach.
Ten Hag would provide better tactics, a long-term vision and an increased chance of trophies – a welcome proposition amid the club’s four-year drought.
But if United’s crisis unravels into a disaster and Solskjaer is dismissed earlier than planned, the Ajax general may be off the table unless an interim manager steps in until May.