In just 28 minutes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s master plan to save Manchester United’s job falls apart against Watford.
At halftime, Manchester United were 2-0 down to Watford, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job as manager was in jeopardy.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted earlier this week that if his team was to progress in the league and stop their slide, he would have to turn to the ‘dark side’ of football to get a result against lowly Watford.
Solskjaer was referring to defending and had focused on that aspect of his team’s game in training this week, but the Norwegian’s plans were undone after just 28 minutes at Vicarage Road when they conceded yet another goal.
Prior to Saturday’s visit to Vicarage Road, Solskjaer’s side had only managed four points in their previous six league games.
The Norwegian’s job as United manager had become extremely precarious, with the team failing to live up to the expectations of the club’s owners and fans.
A seemingly easier match against Watford provided Solskjaer with an opportunity to redeem himself after a difficult run in the league.
United’s defending had been a problem in recent weeks, and Solskjaer admitted that if his team was to win, they needed to look to the ‘dark side’ of football.
But, after conceding a penalty, a disallowed goal, and the opener in the space of half an hour at Watford, it appears Solskjaer’s situation is even more difficult to recover from, as United now have only two clean sheets in their last 25 games.
“We’ve had a few games where we’ve given up chances, and we can’t give up easy chances against any team,” he said before the game.
“We’re up against a well-organized Watford side that excels at counter-attacking and set-pieces.
“So, if you’re concentrating on this game, you’ve got to make sure your defending is on point.”
“That’s probably the dark side of football that you know you need to work on, and we’ve already made a lot of improvements.”
After the home team was awarded a penalty after only 11 minutes, United were nervous.
The initial shot was blocked, but Kiko Femeni tucked home the rebound to give Watford the lead.
However, due to an encroachment, a retake was required.
United got a reprieve when Ismaila Sarr took the penalty kick but missed it.
Solskjaer’s team did not make the most of their opportunities.
“News from the Brinkwire.”