In the end the Glazers shot Bambi, but where do Manchester United go now?

Look up ‘shambles’ in the dictionary and you’ll find United post-Alex Ferguson

Jamie Redknapp was clearly proud of the line because he reminded us on Sunday that it's two years since he first suggested that Manchester United sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be akin to "shooting Bambi".

But after three years of wearing the look of a deer caught in headlights, Solskjaer was put out of his misery on Sunday morning, United’s succession plan now making the battle to inherit Logan Roy’s empire look wrinkle-free.

There’ll be a caretaker, then an interim manager, then another worldie of a permanent manager who will lead the team to an unbeaten 10-game-streak, before the cracks start to show, the wheels fall off again, and after two-ish years another caretaker will be appointed, followed by another interim manager, and then another worldie of a permanent manager who will last another two-ish years in the job.

Next time you look up ‘shambles’ in the dictionary, it’ll just read ‘Manchester United post-Ferguson’.


The club after all, is run by folk more interested in Twitter likes than Premier League points.

Solskjaer, who would appear to be an inherently decent man, even subjected himself to a ‘farewell interview’ on the club’s website, a quite bizarre affair that usually only managers retiring gracefully subject themselves to.

Among the hard-hitting questions put to him by a United employee were, “when you look back, are you proud?” and “you’re going to be a fan still from afar?”

Solskjaer, looking thoroughly jaded and worn, Harry Maguire’s ‘defending’ possibly having finished him off, had the appearance of a fella reading from a script in a hostage video while an AK-47 was held to his head.

Then again, he seemed like a compliant enough hostage. Next time you look up ‘company man’ in the dictionary, it might just read ‘Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’.

In the course of this chat, he paid tribute to the club's owners, who have just sacked him, as well as the players who lost 4-1 to Watford and 2-0 at home to Manchester City and 5-0 to Liverpool in the last month. "They're top lads, top people," he said. "I'm sure we'll see them puff their chest out and they'll go on a run." Stockholm Syndrome?

Those who defended him to the bitter end reminded anyone who would listen that he scored the winning goal in Camp Nou in 1999. That, though, was much like forgiving Paul McCartney for penning Ebony and Ivory simply because he’d written Let It Be a couple of decades before. You can appreciate one effort, while saying ‘mother of jaysus’ to the other.

Not that any of this was actually Solskjaer’s fault, he was as qualified for the job as you or me would be for NASA’s astrophysicist gig. And you’d a notion that he’d a limited say in the half a billion budget that was blown since he ascended to the throne.

Would, for example, he have Zoomed the Glazers last summer and said McTominay, Fred and Matic were all the midfielders he needed, instead any available loot should be blown on bringing Ronaldo home so that United’s social media engagement stats would reach Jupiter levels?

“Olly,” they possibly replied, “if Cristiano makes our share prices happy when skies are grey, so be it - McTommy, Freda and AutoMatic will do fine.”

Lavish transfer spending

It called to mind Ron Atkinson’s spell as United gaffer, between 1981 and 1986, when Spitting Image had a chuckle at his lavish transfer spending. They showed him entering a jewellers, tapping his diamond-ring-encrusted fingers on the counter, pointing at a bejewelled item in the display and asking for the price.


“I’ll give you £1,000,” Ron replied.

A laughing stock then, a laughing stock all over again.

Nothing funnier than the club’s players tweeting their love for Solskjaer on Sunday afternoon, when the bulk of them wouldn’t raise a sweat for the fella the past few weeks, comfortable in the knowledge that he’d pay the price for their abject performances, and not themselves.

Who next? Mauricio Pochettino?

Not unreasonably, Robbie Keane asked on Sunday why he would want to swap Messi, Neymar and Mbappe for, well, McTommy, Freda and AutoMatic, but it's a funny old game, he might well be lured.

Unless things go swimmingly under caretaker Michael Carrick and the Glazers decide they'll give him 18 months before it all falls apart and they appoint Steve Bruce as an interim manager before giving Sven-Goran Eriksson a three year contract.

Don’t laugh, anything’s possible with this shower. They were even good with shooting Bambi.