As we wave goodbye to a completely forgettable 2018/19 season for Manchester United, we all know that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s task is a monumental one.
The Red Devils’ last match of the season is a fixture against Cardiff City. This gives the Baby Faced Assassin an opportunity to look towards the future by giving youth a chance in a relatively meaningless fixture. Hopefully, Mason Greenwood is in the starting line-up and we get to see what he can do.
Before the final day, we spoke to Cardiff City fan Alan, from the excellent Mauve and Yellow Army website. Amongst the topic of discussion was Solskjaer’s time at Cardiff, the loveable Neil Warnock(!) and Neil Etheridge as a United back-up? Anyway, let’s delve right into the interview…
Jordan @ Old Trafford Faithful: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s stint at Cardiff ended pretty shoddily. Were you surprised when he got the United job? Just how bad was he during his Cardiff stint?
Alan @ Mauve and Yellow Army: Yes, it came as a real shock. As for the job he did at Cardiff, he signed some good players for us (e.g. Bruno Manga, Sean Morrison and I always like ex-Manchester United man Anthony Pilkington), but there was an awful lot of dross as well. My biggest complaint with him though was that you could never work out what he was trying to achieve – lovely bloke, but a poor Cardiff City manager.
Jordan @ OTF: Neil Warnock always gets hate, but this season I think he’s shown the world just what a likeable bloke he is. Would you agree?
Alan @ MAYA: I think Neil Warnock has made a lot of enemies in his time as a manager and that may have been to our detriment this season. Also, I was not a fan of his before he came to Cardiff, but I do like his honesty, his humour and the fact that there is no front to him at all – he’ll chat to anyone when he’s watching, say, an Under 23 game, so I’ve certainly warmed to him during his time at Cardiff.
Jordan @ OTF: Is he the man to bring you straight back up?
Alan @ MAYA: There’s some doubt as to whether he’ll stay at the moment, but what he achieved in the Championship last season was amazing – his record in that division is virtually second to none, so, while there may be “bigger picture” questions about whether we need a change of manager, if the goal is solely to get promoted next season, then I don’t think we could do better than Neil Warnock.
Jordan @ OTF: Do you think United made the right decision in letting Mourinho go?
Alan @ MAYA: Definitely – he should never have been appointed in the first place and I say that without the benefit of hindsight. Mourinho teams don’t play Manchester United-type football – never have done, never will do. His philosophy is to let the other team have the ball and feed off their mistakes, that’s shocking for someone who only manages at clubs that have the money to buy virtually anyone in the world.
Jordan @ OTF: Do you think Solskjaer will see out the 2019/20 season in the United dugout?
Alan @ MAYA: Based on what I saw at Cardiff, I would doubt it, but, to be fair to Ole, I think the players are the problem at your club. I don’t think I’m saying anything profound when I say that the bounce you got when he was first appointed was down to the fact he wasn’t Mourinho – now you seem to have reverted to your old ways. I’m sure Ole wants to play the sort of football that United fans want to see, so if he can put together a squad which shows a bit of fight for the shirt, I think he could survive the season.
Jordan @ OTF: If you could sign one United player for Cardiff, who would it be?
Alan @ MAYA: Well, there’s who I would like and what’s realistic! We’ve not had a fifteen to twenty goal a season striker in ages, so Lukaku would be nice, but, as for someone who could actually play for us in the Championship next season, we need central midfielders, so how about your best player in that position from your Academy team on loan!
Jordan @ OTF: Ha, James Garner would be a good fit for a season, you can take him on loan! On the flip side, If you could recommend one Cardiff player for United, who would it be?
Alan @ MAYA: Neil Etheridge could do a good job as a backup keeper and I think Victor Camarasa is going to have a good career in the game – given your problems in central defence this season, Bruno Manga might be someone who’d be useful cover for that position.
Jordan @ OTF: We need all the help we can get! Finally, could you give us a score prediction?
Alan @ MAYA: I haven’t got a clue! We’ve only played at Old Trafford twice in the time I’ve supported City and we lost both games without scoring a goal. Despite our poor record in that department, I’d like to think we could get a goal this time, but as to how many you will score all I’ll say is that I’ll be amazed if it’s not more than us! Twist my arm and I’ll go for a 3-1 home win.
Jordan @ OTF: I’ll go for 2-0. Enjoy the game!