Man United Lost 5-0 To Liverpool On Sunday And Sir Alex Ferguson’s Reaction In The Stands Was Felt By Fans Around The World

Sometimes a picture can paint a thousand words and that timeless proverb certainly applied at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

While the stream of dejected supporters leaving Old Trafford early – with fierce rivals Liverpool exercising their control inside – would have been enough to resonate with Manchester United fans’ hearts across the world, there was one particular image that hurt most.

Sir Alex Ferguson personifies the very fabric of United, the legendary former boss is a tangible representation of what the club means.

Yet here he was in the crowd, pictured appearing desolate and almost inconsolable. The club’s greatest hero, who led United to their finest moments with great ferocity, was reduced to fragility at the hands of Liverpool and that in itself is just unforgivable.

Never mind the gutless performance that United’s players delivered on the pitch – it was 90 minutes of painful humiliation

For all the talk of the progress that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made at United, his team now seems like a side that is helplessly going backwards under his leadership. United’s performances this season had suggested that the club was treading water under Solskjaer, but it’s now become abundantly clear that they’re actually drowning. There has been no tragic accident to get here, though.

Make no mistake, this is Solskjaer’s doing and the United boss knew as much when accepting full responsibility after the full-time whistle. United looked devoid of cohesion and organisation against Liverpool and to lack the basics at an elite level is damning.

It says a lot about the calibre of the man that Solskjaer is – he’s installed dignity and belief back into the club – that he was pictured after the game signings autographs for young fans that had waited outside the scene of one of United’s darkest days.

Solskjaer looked bereft in his interviews, the result would have hurt him as much as anyone, and he still found time for supporters, however, there can be no room for sentimentality when a club of United’s stature is on course to capitulate.

Surely it couldn’t get worse than a 5-0 defeat at home to Liverpool? The awaiting Manchester City might answer that question soon.

Sunday’s defeat confirmed an uncomfortable truth about Solskjaer that many have refused to come to terms with. He doesn’t seem the right man to take United to yet another level because he’s not tactically world-class, like Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.

Solskjaer had earned the benefit of the doubt before this weekend, he had earned the right to take United forward, but that case became indefensible with every Liverpool goal that went past David de Gea on Sunday – it was Solskjaer’s reckoning.

If Solskjaer is to part ways with United, this season’s awful results won’t define his managerial legacy at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer was already immortal in the club’s history thanks to his exploits as a player and, while unfortunately, he hasn’t matched those heights as a manager, his tenure has still been a success, regardless of him failing to deliver silverware during his reign.

The Norwegian inherited a club that had lost its way under Jose Mourinho, who had placed his ‘vision’ for United at expense of the club’s long-term wellbeing, and United had deep-rooted, systematic issues that only someone who truly knew the club could solve.

It was telling that even during Solskjaer’s lowest point of his tenure, Old Trafford refused to turn on him down on the touchline. There were no ‘Solskjaer out’ chants. There was no toxicity. Instead, there was a silent, reluctant acceptance of Solskjaer’s fate in the air.

United fans didn’t feel the need to chant against Solskjaer and Ferguson’s reaction also spoke louder than any words possibly could.

It’s a shame that this could be the final chapter in Solskjaer’s reign, but the Liverpool defeat shows that it’s time to close the book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.