Solskjaer’s critical issues at Man United: Four things to fix if he’s to stay in charge

After hours of deliberation on Monday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to be in the dugout when Manchester United take on Tottenham on Saturday. The pressure on Solskjaer almost reached breaking point following the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, but the Norwegian is limping on — for now at least.

– Solskjaer in limbo at Man United as club divided over replacement
– Sources: United players losing faith in Solskjaer

His future as United manager remains up in the air, and it’s debatable whether he could survive another defeat at Spurs, even with only a week to go before the November break.

Already out of the Carabao Cup, Solskjaer at least has a week to prepare for the make-or-break trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. After a bruising run of results — United have lost five of their last nine games — the 48-year-old has issues to solve if he hopes to show he can turn things around at Old Trafford. Find a clean sheet from somewhere

Nothing is coming easily for Solskjaer at the moment because United can’t keep a clean sheet. Each of their last three wins — against West Ham, Villarreal and Atalanta — have come after being at least a goal down, with game-winners coming in the 80th minute or later. United’s clean sheet record stands at one in their last 21 games and even that — against Wolves in August — was fortuitous. They’ve not kept a clean sheet at Old Trafford since Mar. 14.

Whatever other issues need to be addressed, Solskjaer needs to ensure his team are organised and compact against Tottenham. Spurs are not playing well either, but in Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son , they have two of the Premier League’s stand-out forwards and will fancy their chances of breaching a defence that’s leaked 11 goals in their last three games.

Solskjaer will be desperate to win, but it’s vital he doesn’t lose. Stop Spurs scoring and United will go home with at least a point. Lose, and the case for Solskjaer to remain in his post will disintegrate. United will be hoping to get to the international break without any more crisis talks, but Solskjaer has to first stop the rot at the back. Big players under-performing and big decisions to be made

For all the question marks about Solskjaer’s ability as a manager, the players have got to take some responsibility. Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire have both taken criticism for their performances against Leicester and Liverpool, and the way Aaron Wan-Bissaka chased back (or didn’t) for Liverpool’s opener on Sunday was embarrassing. Solskjaer is facing the toughest run of his tenure at Man United. Can he emerge from this mess? OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images One of the accusations levelled at Solskjaer — both from fans and from inside the squad — is that he doesn’t trust his fringe players enough to feel confident dropping his stars, but Shaw, Maguire and Wan-Bissaka can have no complaints if they […]

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