MANCHESTER UNITED are set to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer if he loses to Norwich at the end of this month – if he can avoid a Liverpool hammering.
His future hangs by a thread but he has a stay of execution until the Red Devils have played Liverpool after the international break, Partizan Belgrade and the Canaries.
While Solskjaer’s run is horrific, it feels like he’s been given the keys to the biggest club in the world, without access to all the rooms.
The club understand the need for Solskjaer to be given time and that sticking to their “plan”.
Defeat to Liverpool after the international break, although not ideal, is widely be expected, and will not be the one that finishes Solskjaer off — as long as it’s not a complete capitulation.
United are instead looking at the trip to Carrow Road on Sunday, October 27 as the barometer.
Solskjaer desperately needs to get to January and the opening of the transfer window, but to make it that far, he needs wins.
It would be unfair to judge Solskjaer on a game against the European champions.
But the following week against Norwich, a side that are in the bottom three and only three points behind United, is one he simply has to win to keep his job.
United have already lost this season to West Ham, Crystal Palace and the struggling Newcastle.
Defeat against a newly-promoted side might make supporters and the board really believe that United are in a relegation fight, when they were tipped before the season to be battling for a top-four place.
It is hard to pinpoint where it’s gone wrong on the pitch, because after a disappointing end to last season, pre-season went well, the players worked hard, and Solskjaer developed a particular style.