An ex-Red Devil thinks the current manager’s task is being made all the more difficult with the ex-Spurs boss lurking in the background
Rumours linking Mauricio Pochettino with the top job at Manchester United are not helping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to Lee Sharpe, who thinks pressure is mounting on the Norwegian with each passing week.
United have suffered their worst start to a top-flight season in 33 years in 2019-20, slipping down to eighth in the standings after 25 fixtures.
Solskjaer’s men have picked up promising results against Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea, but all too often come unstuck against lesser sides content to sit back and absorb pressure.
The Red Devils are currently six points adrift of the Champions League places, and they missed the chance to close that gap after being held to a 0-0 draw by Wolves at Old Trafford just before the winter break.
A crucial trip to Stamford Bridge to face fourth-placed Chelsea is up next on Monday, which has been described as “lose or bust” for United by former goalkeeper Mark Bosnich.
Solskjaer has faced plenty of criticism for the team’s inconsistency, and reports of former Tottenham head coach Pochettino waiting in the wings to succeed the 46-year-old continue to swirl heading towards the summer.
Sharpe sympathises with Solskjaer’s plight and doesn’t think he needs the added “pressure” of worrying about being replaced, with expectations still very high at Old Trafford.
“At a club like United, the pressure is on every week. You have to win every game and when you don’t, the pressure mounts,” the ex-United midfielder told Sky Sports.
“He will have had a goal set at the start of the season which I believe would have been top four. If they don’t get that questions will be asked and chats will be had behind the scenes.
“The Pochettino situation doesn’t help matters but I also think Ole knows the pressure that comes with being in charge of the club.
“He doesn’t need any outside influences putting extra pressure on him, he’ll already be feeling it.”
United have been tipped to bring in Borussia Dortmund teenager Jadon Sancho when the transfer market reopens, as Solskjaer continues to target young, homegrown talent in the market.
When asked if he would urge his old club to push a deal for the England international over the line in the coming months, Sharpe responded: “Without a doubt. He’s one of the hottest properties in football right now.
“His stats are incredible and it’s not like he’s just been doing it for a couple of months, he’s been doing it for a few seasons now.
“He’s proved he can be consistent at the highest level. This is the kind of player that United supporters want their club to be linked with.”