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Ronaldo security blanket for Solskjaer as Glazers are told why Man Utd axe doesn’t need to fall

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s prospects of holding on to the Manchester United job for the forseeable future have seemingly been given another timely lift – this time by Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Norwegian is under increasing pressure at Old Trafford following an alarming run of results. Indeed, while Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City might not have been as big a scoreline as Liverpool inflicted, the gulf in class was plain to see. That means United suffered a sixth defeat in their last 12 games – form that is simply unacceptable.

Having signed three world-class stars over the summer, expectations have been hugely raised at Old Trafford this season. Instead, United sit nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea, having also been dumped out of the League Cup.

And but for Ronaldo’s heroics, they would also be in a hole in the Champions League group stage.

Realistically, the Champions League – despite nagging doubts over their quality – or the FA Cup remains their most likely trophy avenues.

It all makes for grim reading for Solskjaer – and it gets worse….!

Indeed, nagging doubts over his future come amid claims that Ronaldo is concerned at just how far the club has fallen.

The Portuguese hitman, it’s stated, is ‘well aware’ that ‘times had changed’ since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club. However, he is reportedly ‘shocked at just how far standards have slipped.’

Ronaldo’s frustrations have been there for all to see in recent weeks. He was booked for kicking out at Curtis Jones against Liverpool. Ronaldo also received another caution versus City when lunging at Kevin de Bruyne in the game’s dying embers.

Publicly though, Ronaldo continues to back his manager.

Indeed, a report in the Daily Express claims Ronaldo has implored the club’s decision-makers to give Solskjaer more time.

They claim that, due to the personnel changes over the summer, finding the right mix was always going to take a while.

And while Ronaldo thinks Solskjaer takes some responsibility for getting the best out of his players, the article states that he remains fully behind the Solskjaer regime.

To that end, the superstar has reportedly told the Glazers not to act hastily and stay true to Solskjaer for now.

Indeed, that message came through loud and clear last month when Ronaldo was asked about United’s struggles.

“We are in a moment in my opinion that Manchester (United) do a few changes; they buy me, they buy (Raphael) Varane and (Jadon) Sancho,” he said.

“The adaptation will take time, even the system of the game that we play, but I think step by step we have to put it in our mind that everything is possible.

“I don’t speak only about my individual stuff, I put the collective in first place.

“To win things as a collective, it’s more easy to win individual stuff, I still think it’s possible.”

Ronaldo also offered Solskjaer a further show of faith by stating it’s also down to the players to bring around an improvement.

“We have to [take responsibility],” said Ronaldo.

“To play for Manchester United and to be a coach of Manchester United you will always be criticised, and you have to accept that it’s part of the business to criticise you.

“You play for one of the biggest clubs in the world, all eyes are on you and it is normal. You have to deal with it.

“The coaches, the players, when we lose we are in the same boat, when we win it is the same.

“You have to deal with the pressure, the pressure is here, it will continue to be here when you win or lose and you have to deal with that.

“It is part of the job.”

On Tuesday, another detailed report explained why United are not in a hurry to sack Solskjaer.

And the main reason emerging is that the club have no clear choices of who they want to step in.

The likes of Antonio Conte and Zinedine Zidane have both been discussed as candidates. Conte proved a divisive figure among the board when his name recently came up for discussion. Indeed, a unanimous verdict on his appointment at boardroom level could not be reached. That option is now off the agenda anyway with Conte having gone to Tottenham.

Zidane would have been an option they considered but he is seemingly not interested in the prospective hotseat, with another job in his sights.

However, as per United in Focus, the Glazers, however, are reportedly keen on one of Mauricio Pochettino or Erik Ten Hag.

Both men, though, remain in high-profile jobs with PSG and Ajax and would not leave at the present time.

So instead, United chiefs seem willing instead to wait until the end of the season. And it’s stated they feel they would have a better chance of luring either once the current season has concluded.

Furthermore, ‘top choice’ Pochettino could even find himself under pressure at PSG were they to fail to win the Champions League.

Lack of Plan B for United over Solskjaer sack

Indeed, the lack of a Plan B at Old Trafford is seen as the main reason why Solskjaer is likely to continue.

The Glazers always planned to give the Norwegian until the end of this season before considering a change.

Furthermore, it’s not just the lack of availability of their top picks out there halting Solskjaer’s axe.

Even if they were to call time on Solskjaer, the club also lacks an obvious, temporary, replacement.

And nobody on Solskjaer’s coaching staff could step into the role on an interim basis.

Mike Phelan is too closely tied in to Solskjaer to make any impact on the players.

Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna could perhaps offer fresh insight, but neither hold any experience at senior management level.

There are also no obvious caretaker coaches beyond that trio already at the club. And the prospect of promoting an under-qualified youth coach will not even be up for consideration.

The Glazers are also against the notion of appointing another interim manager. That’s the ‘trap’ they fell into with Solskjaer and they don’t plan to let history repeat itself.

So with both their top picks currently unavailable, it seems United will stand by Solskjaer for the time being at least.

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