Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sounds like a man pleading for his job after his captain Harry Maguire was left apologizing to Manchester United’s fans following a 5-0 home loss to Liverpool on Sunday, a result rival boss Jurgen Klopp describes as “insane.”
“I have come too far, we have come too far as a group, and we are too close to give up now,” Solskjaer said after the at-best humbling and at-worst humiliating loss at Old Trafford.
Manchester United was smashed by Liverpool, down 4-0 at the break and 5-0 before substitute Paul Pogba was sent off.
Liverpool basically took its foot off the gas over the final half-hour.
Solskjaer is grasping for words but knows it’s a career-low.
“It is not easy to say something apart from it is the darkest day I have had leading these players,” Solskjaer said, adding that he feels worse than when the club was demolished by five last season against Tottenham.
“You can look at last season we lose to Spurs 6-1 this is worse, miles worse. This is miles worse for me as a Manchester lad. I’ve just got to say we have to get over this as quickly as we can. … We know we are rock bottom, we can’t feel any worse than this. Let’s see where we take it.”
How can you be rock bottom and also too close to give up now? That’s probably unfair, but so is trying to make sense of United’s abject performance in a huge game that left Solskjaer’s record against the Premier League’s big six in a bad place.
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire apologizes
Maguire was left trying to make sense of his and his team’s performance.
The center back looked bad again, his return from injury anything but a shadow of the defender who’s put forth so many big performances before and after arriving from Leicester City.
“We apologize to the fans, it was nowhere near good enough for this club,” Maguire said. “They stuck with us right to the end and we appreciate that but as a club we have to do better. I am so disappointed, we gave them so many chances.
“We had a lot of chances ourselves but I am a defender and to concede four in the first half especially at Old Trafford is nowhere near good enough. … As a player I know myself. I’ll be looking at myself and my individual performance.”
Maguire either needs recovery or a rest. It’s not getting any easier for United, with Tottenham, Atalanta, Man City, Watford, Villarreal, Chelsea, and Arsenal next.
If Solskjaer stays, he better have a plan he hasn’t rolled off the line yet, because the simple motivation of saying “We’re Man United and we’re good” has long gone stale.