Ole on the Line: The Tasks Ahead for Manchester United’s Manager

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‘Ole’s on the Line’ might well have become an unscripted, yet palpable refrain since Manchester United’s 2018-2019 Premier League campaign withered off; no less a somber finale to a forgettable season. At the same breath it would surely bespeak an unuttered oracle of the tasks ahead, of what the future holds for Manchester United’s manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Stretford End’s stilling of the raucous renditions of the novel anthem ‘Ole’s at the Wheel’ was surely a dark foreboding of their club’s descent into a slippery quagmire, having come full frontal with the consequences of decisions that seem to have catapulted Manchester United into football’s netherworld. The fading of their bellicose chants and its supplanting by muted whispers of uncertainty surrounding the choices the club had made in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appointment must be for the Manchester United manager a brusque realization that the tide had turned and the time for his proper examination had arrived.

As the new season approaches, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows without a doubt that he faces daunting challenges the sort of which neither summer signings nor team tactics will suffice to resolve. In his efforts to revive Manchester United’s football fortunes and restore the club to the heights from which it had giddily fallen, his first undertaking must be to exorcise the demons of lucre which in the last few years made football at Old Trafford a more of a show business, a commodity rather than a sport.

However, Ole’s most pressing task, the ‘Great Work’ that he must embark upon, will be to restore the “Vril”, the life-force in a team, which in the last season consistently demonstrated the fortitude of a flaccid phallus. What became alarming about their squad of players during the season just gone by was not so much the losses they suffered, but the manner in which the team often capitulated and fell apart, while offering little resistance or fight back against opponents they would otherwise have batted away. Not unlike an emasculated Gulliver, an impotent giant that was bound and ridiculed by gleeful Lilliputians.

How and why Manchester United lost her mojo has been a subject of vicarious punditry, but the answers that Ole’s own self-interrogation produces will undoubtedly serve as signposts to what lays ahead for him as the manager of the biggest club in the world…

Here are six tasks that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must set for himself if he hopes to succeed in his Manchester United managerial career.