The Manchester United board had reportedly been planning to ‘review’ manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future in December – but the process has been accelerated by Sunday’s abysmal 5-0 defeat to Liverpool. In one of their darkest days of the Premier League era, the Red Devils were utterly humiliated by their bitter rivals at Old Trafford, with goals from Naby Keita and Diogo Jota along with a Mohamed Salah hat-trick putting them to the sword.
The result has seen calls for Solskjaer to be sacked growing louder, with Sunday’s nightmare the final straw for many supporters and pundits.
United have won just two of their last nine games in all competitions, and their season is in danger of collapsing before it has even really begun.
Solskjaer was only handed a new three-year contract extension in the summer, but with Antonio Conte waiting in the wings, there is a growing feeling that he could be dismissed sooner rather than later.
According to the Daily Mail, United’s owners the Glazers, along with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, had been planning to give Solskjaer until December to turn things around before making a decision over whether or not to let him go.
But the loss to Liverpool means they have had no choice but to bring those talks forward, with an emergency meeting taking place on Monday.
It has been claimed that the powers-that-be were totally unprepared for just how bad United’s form has been, and although they all get on with Solskjaer, they are aware they may have little choice but to wield the axe.
As things currently stand, Solskjaer will be in charge for Saturday’s game against Tottenham, with a sacking not expected imminently.
However, United have a tough run of fixtures coming up, with the trip to Spurs followed by matches against Atalanta, Manchester City.
And it’s thought that a bad result in any of those fixtures could be terminal for the Norwegian.
Writing in his column for Sky Sports on Wednesday, former Arsenal forward Paul Merson said he thinks Solskjaer has been extremely lucky to not lose his job yet.
Speaking about Sunday’s extraordinary collapse, he said: “I have never seen a result like it before. Nothing compares to this result, nothing. I was embarrassed. It wasn’t a good watch.
“Manchester United versus Liverpool, the biggest game in the world, the biggest game in United’s season, and they lost it by a country mile.
“I don’t like seeing any manager get the sack but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is very fortunate to still be in a job. He’s as lucky as you can become as a manager.
“I don’t care what anybody says but if any other manager at any other club in Europe lost 5-0 at home to your biggest rivals, the manager is gone. If Chelsea or Arsenal lost 5-0 at home to Tottenham, the manager would do well to still be there on the Monday morning.
“Manchester United have won just one Premier League game in five, that just isn’t acceptable, and yet the manager has still got a job. I don’t know what’s going on at the club.”