Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping to avoid a bad omen when his Manchester United side take on Everton on Saturday. After defeats to Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir the Norwegian is under pressure.
United are 15th in the Premier League after a dismal start to the season and in the Champions League, where their form has been good with wins over Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, they suffered a humiliating loss on Wednesday.
Istanbul’s first goal highlighted United’s defensive incapabilities with Demba Ba completely unmarked and given a free run through his opponent’s half before slotting past Dean Henderson.
United went on to lose the game 2-1 in what was a dismal and dour showing. The display even prompted Paul Scholes to describe his former club as an U10s side.
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The result followed on from the 1-0 loss to Arsenal – again another poor showing. And with Mauricio Pochettino reminding everyone he’s still available on Monday Night Football the pressure on Solskjaer is fierce.
It doesn’t help, however, that his United side now must take on an in-form Everton. Despite their past two results, Carlo Ancelotti’s men have been impressive in the Premier League. Currently fifth, they pose a real threat to United.
It has been mooted that defeat to Everton could see Ed Woodward swing his axe, though contrasting reports say this is premature.
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Nonetheless, Pochettino has been sounded out by United as they potentially prepare for life without Solskjaer.
It does not bode well that Solskjaer faces a somewhat negative Merseyside omen.
Jose Mourinho was fired following a damning defeat to Liverpool in 2018 and David Moyes was axed after United lost to Everton in 2014. Some fans may even remember one fan dressed up as the Grim Reaper and haunted the Scot from behind.
Solskjaer, though, is not worried about receiving the bullet just yet.
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“If I don’t trust my beliefs and values, who else will?” he said ahead of the fixture.
“I don’t look at one or two results and fall like a house of cards.”
“There are demands on a Man United player, coach and manager,” he added. “There is an expectation. We have to be tough mentally.
“We are the best and biggest club in the world. [After Wednesday] we didn’t expect anything but criticism. It is how you deal with it.
“The boys are ready for a reaction. We are all hurt. It is never easy when you lose two games on the bounce but that is football.”
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