There is a Nigerian saying about being crazy if you get beaten by the same dog twice.
Can we say same about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United having been beaten twice by Wolves? Yes, we can! After all, there is only just a slight difference between a dog and a wolf.
United have only gotten a point from Nuno Espírito Santo’s team this season, and they have themselves to blame for failing to figure out Wolves weak point.
You can rightly say that a defeat at Molineux for the second time in two-and-a-half weeks does not condemn the awesome work that Solskjaer has done since taking over. However, failure to make the top 4 will define the start of his Old Trafford career as a manager.
He has done well enough to earn the job for the long term; making the top 4 would have been the berry on the parfait.
Can Manchester United still make top 4?
That looks unlikely.
The loss to Wolves means United miss the chance of going over Arsenal and Tottenham, and will now have to hope that both London teams do not win their remaining seven fixtures this season.
Like Chelsea, they are no longer in control of their Champions League qualification; unlike Chelsea, they don’t have a second option of winning the Europa League.
Failure to qualify for Europe’s elite competition is in no way Solsjaer’s fault. Yes, you can mention Jose Mourinho’s name here. But the onus is on Solsjaer to make a strong push for the finish line.
Considering they still have Chelsea and a rampant Manchester City to face, one can hardly bet on United making the cut.
What next for Solskjaer?
Solskjaer can take consolation in the fact that he now has the job on a permanent basis, meaning he can start making plans towards next season.
Loved by the fans and accepted by the players, it only makes logical sense for the Norwegian to begin working toward bringing back the Ferguson days at the Theatre of Dreams.
Certainly, some players have got to go and new ones have to be brought in. These are some of the decisions Solskjaer has to make with the club’s board. A target has to be set for next season, and from how this season has gone, winning a silverware should be top of the list.
The trolls may be dragging United now, but if all the boxes are ticked, this United can walk tall next season. For this season, the best they can do is finish with a strong attitude – upsetting Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-final can ignite that light.