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The Fiver | Manchester United, hapless goons and biohazard suits

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In much the same way as they publicly backed David Moyes and Humility Man™ shortly before handing them their P45s and ushering them to the Old Trafford door marked “Do One”, Manchester United’s hierarchy have felt compelled to offer Ole Gunnar Solskjær similar assurances that he will be fired sooner rather than later about his position as manager of the club. It being the third vote of confidence they have given the over-promoted Norwegian since September, The Fiver can’t help but feel that if they really believed he was the man to restore the club to anything approaching its former glories, they wouldn’t feel the need to keep on telling us.

United’s eighth Premier League defeat of the season was a dismal surrender to Burnley played out in an atmosphere so toxic it’s a wonder the players weren’t kitted out in club-branded biohazard suits. As the small pockets of home fans, who had waited until the final whistle to beat the traffic, seethed and grumbled on their way to the exits, the beleaguered manager’s former teammates-turned-pundits duly tied themselves in knots as they desperately tried to put a positive spin on the shambles they had seen unfold. Only Rio Ferdinand, on BT Sport, was man enough to call it as he had actually seen it. “You can’t defend this,” he said, apparently likening United’s performance to a Burnley free-kick thumped long towards Ben Mee from the centre-circle. “People at the top need to see this and make changes and put a plan in place.”

While Rio is right about the hapless buffoons at the top having no coherent plan, he is certainly whistling a different tune to the one we all heard 10 months ago, when he publicly urged them to “get the contract out, put it on the table. Let [Ole] sign it, let him write whatever numbers he wants to put on there given what he’s done since he’s come in”. As things stand, there is no available evidence to suggest they have any kind of strategy – half-baked or otherwise – to improve performances on the field. The irony will not be lost on Solskjær that it is exactly this lack of planning that is currently keeping him in a job.


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Send your letters to And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our letter o’the day is … Daniel Doody, who wins a copy of Death is a Laff Riot, by Fiver reader Robi Polgar.


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