Man Utd predicament proved Sir Alex Ferguson right after “short-termism” warning

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United look destined to fall foul of Sir Alex Ferguson’s ‘short-termism’ warning that the Scot issued in 2017 when hailing Mauricio Pochettino

Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay nowLiverpool’s record 5-0 win at Man Utd: Solskjaer at ‘rock bottom’ByDan Marsh

  • 10:28, 26 Oct 2021
  • Updated10:30, 26 Oct 2021
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's job is hanging by a thread at Manchester United.


The United boss is on the cusp of being replaced after overseeing the club's worst-ever home defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool in Sunday's 5-0 thrashing.

And the Norwegian is set to fall on his sword after failing to heed a warning given by his old boss Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2017.

The Scot, widely acknowledged as United's greatest ever manager, has been one of Solskjaer's biggest advocates during his three years at the helm and still yields a considerable amount of influence in the halls of Old Trafford.

Ferguson spoke of the importance of building a successful team over time, focusing on burgeoning home-grown talent rather than embarking on spending binges.

Intriguingly, the Tottenham team he praised was then managed by Mauricio Pochettino – a name that has been linked on numerous occasions to the United job.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's job is hanging by a thread following Manchester United's abysmal 5-0 defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool

AFP via Getty Images)

"The value is two-fold," Ferguson previously told Sky Sports when advocating a sensible, long-term approach based around younger players.

"One, they'll always remember the person who gave them their start in life, and secondly, they create a loyalty base that is there for life.

"The young players we had coming through still keep in touch with me, and that is an indication of how well it works.

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"I don't think short-termism works, I really don't. I think there are teams that can buy all the time and remain successful, but on a general theme, I don't think short-termism works. With Tottenham, to me, it looks like there is a long-termism there, they're building something that looks pretty good."

Despite coming frustratingly close, Solskjaer has failed to strike that balance and now looks doomed to fail at Old Trafford.

Although the Norwegian has nurtured the likes of Scott McTominay, who broke in initially under Solskjaer's predecessor, Jose Mourinho, and Mason Greenwood over the past four years, the United boss has subtly fallen into the trap that has caught out so many in the Premier League over the years.

Sir Alex Ferguson previously delivered a 'short-termism' warning

Since Solskjaer's appointment, United have spent more than any other club in England on transfers – with their net spend standing at a whopping £312million.

But, as Ferguson seemingly foreshadowed four years ago, spending doesn't always guarantee success, and it's certainly hard to argue that United are any better off after a summer of lavish spending this year.

Look no further than Jadon Sancho, the man who Solskjaer pursued for two years and is languishing on the bench.

United chased the 21-year-old for two years before splashing out £73m to secure his signature from Borussia Dortmund, but he's failed to live up to lofty expectations so far.

Donny van de Beek is sat alongside him most weeks, with the Dutchman still yet to be given any sort of real chance to showcase just why the Old Trafford hierarchy sanctioned his £35m switch from Ajax. The midfielder has to be one of the most baffling Premier League signings in recent years, as his manager, who signed him, seemed determined not utilise him.

Solskjaer has spoken out on numerous occasions during his reign on the importance of restoring the club's traditions, with a focus on hungry, homegrown players key to that approach.

And it shouldn't be ignored that the Norwegian has made some attempt to do that.

United have certainly made progress under Solskjaer, who has helped repair the doom and gloom that Jose Mourinho had left at Old Trafford, but the issue is that the ex-striker now seems to have reached his ceiling following recent struggles.

Ultimately, somewhere along the way, the temptation to throw money at a squad that has continually failed to deliver seduced Solskjaer – who now looks doomed to pay the ultimate price.

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