Manchester United hero Louis Saha thinks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hasn’t been sacked by the Glazers because of his ‘connection’ to the club.
The Norwegian has overseen a problematic start to the season. And, with life at Old Trafford far from rosy, talk of Zinedine Zidane or Mauricio Pochettino potentially taking over has arisen.
United expected Solskjaer to produce the goods after signing the likes of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo during the summer transfer window.
But it’s been a turbulent beginning to the campaign for the Red Devils so far.
United trail Chelsea by eight points in the Premier League, while they’re already out of the Carabao Cup after losing to West Ham.
A recent 5-0 defeat to Liverpool saw Solskjaer’s reign stoop to a new low but, still, he remains in charge.
And Saha, speaking to GamblingDeals.com, has claimed his former team-mate has been given longer than other managers because of his ‘connection’ to the club.
“Ole will still have respect after bad performances because there is some connection,” he said.
“He understands the fans, he understands what the expectation is, the culture, the style of play the player and club needs.
“It’s also definitely a better place to work under him. Those managers had different ways and were different characters, that’s fair to them with their success and pedigree, but it wasn’t working as much.
“The atmosphere at work is way better. So for that, the fans recognised that and gave him more time and respect. Same for the staff themselves.
“The board has recognised that, they have given time, then they have put money on the table to bring in some really top players, so all that is a strategy.
“And maybe one year ago people were challenging him because the transfer window was not good – but this window nobody can talk, nobody can say anything.
“The board has delivered, even with the dramatic story of the Super League, straight after they managed to do what was best for the club, so I think it was a good choice to remain loyal to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“Still, that doesn’t mean he can’t improve, he’s still a young manager, especially in regards to the size of the team he is managing.
“The team he had before is a different animal. It’s similar for David Moyes, with all his experience in the Premier League, you come to United and you can ask him it was a different animal.”
United, according to Saha, can win the Champions League this term.
They’ve relied on Ronaldo to save them in the competition so far, with the Portugal international netting five times.
“I definitely think with the squad United have that they can win any trophy, so I would view the Champions League as reachable,” he said.
“The Champions League and Premier League are very tough, you’re going to struggle in some positions – it’s no longer the time of Man United winning 30-32 games in the league, it’s now really tough because with every team you face the level is high.”
Saha has also called for United fans to stay patient with Sancho, who is yet to score or assist following his arrival from Borussia Dortmund.
“I don’t think so because he’s a big player,” he said when asked if it was unfair to jude the 21-year-old yet.
“He’s already tagged as one of the most exciting players on the planet.
“It’s part of being at a big club. You have these moments where it’s going to be tough, but you have to dig in and work hard and still believe in yourself.
“He’s well looked after at the club – so many players want him to succeed because when he’s on top form he’s unplayable.
“We want things to click for him and see the beauty of him linking with Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford, Greenwood, Cristiano and Cavani – look at the names I just gave, amazing combinations but it’s not easy to find.
“It would’ve been easier if he had someone like Paul Scholes in my day because he knew how to dictate the tempo of the game.
“When you have two sitting midfielders whose strengths are not that, it can be difficult when to know to play high tempo, slow tempo, counter-attack, it was something that Paul Scholes really mastered.
“He needs to also really relax and feel confident in himself, confident in his teammates, getting the right balls in the right moments because it’s just a matter of time, the guy has too much talent.”