In the last eight days, Manchester United have drawn twice with newly-promoted teams and lost to Kazakhstan-based Astana in the Europa League. Worst of all, none of it has come as a surprise.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues to bat away questions about his side’s performance, all the while insisting they are improving week by week.
There was little evidence of that in the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa, a result which leaves them ninth.
Every match report concerning United leads with the same message. Solskjaer is on the brink. Two more dropped points have edged him closer to the exit.
However, The Athletic state that this simply isn’t true. The board have no intention of parting ways with the Norwegian at all.
A few weeks ago, it was assumed that there was nobody better available to take over.
That was before Tottenham sacked Mauricio Pochettino, long seen as the one man capable of turning United’s ailing fortunes around with a long-term project like he did in North London.
Yet journalist Daniel Taylor writes in the report that privately, senior figures at United have confirmed the current manager is safe and they will not be changing their minds any time soon.
It is speculated that one reason for that might be the apparent lack of fan unrest at Old Trafford. Whereas Arsenal fans were in revolt against Unai Emery, Solskjaer remains hugely popular among the supporters, even if that’s largely because of his achievements as a player.
Some of his team selections haven’t gone down well, admittedly. On Sunday, he persevered with a midfield pairing of Fred and Andreas Pereira despite their horror show at Bramall Lane.
Anger seems to be directed at the players though, rather than the man in the dugout. To be fair to United fans, it’s to their credit that they are backing the boss even when the team is struggling as that’s something we don’t se enough of in modern football.
Nonetheless, it is hugely surprising that United aren’t considering Solskjaer’s future. It would be one thing for them to come out and give him a vote of confidence publicly, but it seems to go beyond that.
Behind the scenes, nothing is changing at United. On the pitch, things are getting much worse.