The betting market for “next manager to leave” – which basically means either resign or get sacked – is always an interesting one. It’s also known as “the sack race” by some journalists and punters. Now you could argue it’s not particularly nice to be speculating on people losing their jobs, but nevertheless it’s something that always gets talked about among fans or in the papers.
What surprises me at the moment is that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now the favourite in that betting market. Only Marco Silva is considered by the bookies to be anywhere near as likely a candidate to be out of a job next.
I get that United’s start to the season has been dreadful. Having been to most home games, I know it as well as anyone, and I am not disputing that the buck stops with the manager in terms of results.
However, there are plenty of mitigating circumstances.
At the end of the day, he can only work with the players available to him. The summer was a massive challenge, and it’s far from done yet. He needed to get rid of numerous players signed under Jose Mourinho who were either not good enough to be at the club, who didn’t want to be at the club, or (in many cases) both! Finding a buyer for players like that is never easy, especially with the hierarchy looking to recoup most if not all of the extortionate fees they paid. Ole made a good start but there is still some way to go.
Then of course you have to find the right sort of players to replace them. Ole made three signings over the summer, and I don’t think any fan would argue that so far they have all been a success. Yes two were signed for high fees, but they were urgently needed and the clubs didn’t want to sell. In Daniel James we appear to have unearthed a bargain.
So I would argue that in terms of the transfer market, Ole has been a success.
Backed By The Board
But because the job is only part done, we’ve had to rely on youth to make up the numbers so far. That’s not a bad thing, but when you bring in so many young players at the same time, with little or no first team experience, it’s going to take them a while to adjust. That inevitably means results are likely to suffer.
Add to that the fact we’ve had more than our share of injuries so far, and you start to justify why things haven’t gone well in terms of results.
But the thing is, the board (and Ed himself) have already come out and stated in public that they back the manager, they have a long term plan and they intend to see it through. Nobody wants a bad season, but if that is the price we have to pay to fix the structure of the club and the playing squad, then they have already said they are prepared to pay it.
Assuming we believe that, then barring relegation, Solskjaers job should be safe. So that’s why I don’t understand those odds.
Mobile Out, And Betting On Ole To Stay
I’m sitting now looking at some of my footy betting apps that I downloaded last season, and just wondering how the odds compilers have come up with this.
Surely the likes of Quique Sanchez Flores, Steve Bruce, Daniel Farke, Ralph Hassenhutl and even Pochettino would be far more likely to leave than Ole. Especially right now, just after the Liverpool game which many believe was a tactical victory for our manager and one of the best performances of the season.
I’m not often one for giving tips, but for me I’m now about to get on the Betfair app and lay that bet (this means oppose or bet against it). I just cannot see Ole as favourite here and I have a few hundred quid in that account that means I’m putting my money where my mouth is.
Who’s with me? Or do you reckon I’m in for a disappointment? Let me know.