If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer goes on to become a Manchester United managerial legend, might we suggest that the early part of his tenure be labeled as “The King of Baby Steps.”
Solskjaer found something to like from a rough 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Saturday, a result that saw the Red Devils remain winless against the traditional big six with a total of four draws and two goals in six games.
[ MORE: Three things from Arsenal – Man Utd ]
“I felt first half we dominated,” Solskjaer said. “Second half was more end-to-end but we had a good period and they had a period. …. The Sheffield United result of course was disappointing when you’re at home. If you feel, away at Arsenal, you deserve a win that’s a step forward.”
If that’s the bar for now, well, okay, but the draw also means United is four points back of table-leading Manchester City, a rival with a match-in-hand on the Red Devils.
Solskjaer also made a bit of news in his post-match Zoom call when he told our Joe Prince-Wright that Brandon Williams will not be going on loan this season.
Shaw feels draw is points lost
Luke Shaw has a different take.
“The chances we had, I don’t think it’s acceptable to come away with a point,” Shaw said, via the BBC. “I haven’t been in the changing room yet but I’m sure the lads will be disappointed. … We dropped points in midweek and again here. If we want to be in the title race we have to be winning these games. I don’t know what more to say.”
That’s more of what we expected from Solskjaer, even if he rarely issues public criticism of his men.
United needs a statement league win
The Red Devils, to be sure, have dramatically improved their results and upgraded their performances since returning for Project Restart.
But while celebrating comebacks and late equalizers or winners, has United papered over cracks?
Consider this list of teams beaten, drawn, and lost in the 2020-21 PL season.
Man Utd wins: Brighton, Newcastle, Everton, West Brom, Southampton, West Ham, Sheffield United, Leeds, Wolves, Aston Villa, Burnley, Fulham
Man Utd draws: Chelsea, Man City, Leicester City, Liverpool, Arsenal.
Man Utd losses: Palace, Spurs, Arsenal, Sheffield United
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