Ole Gunnar Solskjaer anniversary highlights biggest Manchester United problem – Richard Fay

The Norwegian left a legend despite his failed managerial spell, one that has actually aged rather well considering how unconvincing they have been in the 24 months since his departure.

United&aposs success under Solskjaer was tempered by the reality that much of it occurred behind closed doors, and while there were a number of genuine impressive triumphs, they wilted when stadiums were full again. A lot of recent revisionism has overlooked just how bad things were by the end.

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Solskjaer&aposs side showed signs of progress to finish third in the league in 2019-2020 and second the following season but their form imploded in the lead-up to his sacking. It is a feeling Erik ten Hag knows all too well.

He, like Solskjaer, oversaw progress during his first full campaign in charge, but it has taken even less time for the cracks to show and serious questions to be asked about his long-term suitability for the role.

There have been highs, but there have also been a lot of lows. Humiliation at the hands of their biggest rivals, a poor transfer record, and no clear style of play. You could be describing Solskjaer or Ten Hag with that comment.

Two years and 400million later, United are still at their best playing Solskjaer-esque football with a core of Solskjaer&aposs players. There are still more similarities than differences between the two permanent managers, which in itself points out that there are bigger problems at play than who is taking charge of the team.

United are a club always chasing short-term solutions who get carried away by emotions and act with their hearts rather than their heads.

There is no long-term plan, whether it is on or off the pitch. United still possess an imbalanced squad pieced together with different managerial input, a team recruited on individual merit rather than to fit into an overarching strategy.

Even this season, there have been serious questions asked about Ten Hag&aposs suitability for the role. Despite the unfortunate injury situation, results and performances simply haven&apost been good enough, though there is also little evidence to suggest sacking him would solve anything other than give them another short-term solution.

As well as a manager capable of leading them at the highest level, United need a proper football structure with relevant football expertise and insight at the boardroom level and an actual long-term plan they are committed to.

For all the desire for change, it will never happen until there is a seismic shift at the top. There is fresh hope it could finally be on the way with Sir Jim Ratcliffe&aposs imminent investment.

Richard Arnold is set to leave the club by the end of the year, while United are also planning to replace John Murtough as football director as part of sweeping changes amid impending investment from the Ineos Group.

It is understood that more changes are planned behind the scenes at United, with the Ineos delegation unimpressed by other departmental strategies.