You just knew it. The minute the under siege manager is shown the door, his erstwhile players come out and record a crucial in the Champions League. Not with a worldly performance by any means, but a damnable improvement on what they’d been producing in the closing stages of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s reign. Coincidence? Let’s not go there, for now…
All that matters for tonight, though, is that they garnered the desired and required result, guaranteeing themselves further European football for another while at least. Not a bad thing to have in the credit column when you have a recruitment drive top of the To-Do list.
After a result like tonight’s, there is a mild fear in the back of this here mind that those in the boardroom are so out of touch with the reality of how things are at the club that they would advocate giving the job to Caretaker Manager Michael Carrick the job on a full time basis.
Nothing against the former midfielder. In fact, he was my kind of footballer. No nonesense, hard as nails and has an aura about him that players would naturally look up to. However, surely the question must be asked, what would the major difference be from having Ole in charge.
Even before tonight’s victory in Spain, the predictable circus had begun. The preferred candidate being endlessly linked to the position but – dutifully towing the party line – insists they are more than happy in their current nest and cannot comment on another club’s business, yada yada ad nauseum.
When the dogs, cats and foxes in the street know exactly what’s going to happen. Notionally at least, the incoming manager has a very talented playing pool with which to work. Certainly one capable of being considerably higher than 7th or 8th in the table. Are there potholes? Yes and ones which no county council shovel full of gravel will cover over.
Chief among them the continuing and worsening ineptitude of the team captain, the enigmatic nuisance that is Paul Pogba, the unjust treatment of both Jesse Lingard and Donnie Van de Beek, the list could go on.
For all that, if, as is being touted, it does indeed end up being Mauricio Pochettino who ends up inherriting the poisoned chalice that is the United job as long as the Glazers and their chief lapdog Ed Woodward are there, he will need to find a balance between the good and bad at the club.
He’ll have his work cut out for him!