Man Utd sinking fast as Solskjaer flounders

LONDON: How far will Manchester United sink? Just two points above the relegation places, the one-time powerhouses of English football are without an away win since March and are enduring their worst start to a league season for 30 years.

Newcastle United’s English striker Andy Carroll (left) vies with Manchester United’s English defender Harry Maguire on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Old Trafford has witnessed a decline in fortunes since Alex Ferguson stepped down in 2013.

Under Ferguson, United finished in the top three every year from 1992 until 2013, winning 13 league titles. In the six seasons since, the Red Devils have finished in the top four just twice.

But while they kept their heads above water in the immediate aftermath of the Scot’s departure, winning a handful of cups and finishing second under Jose Mourinho, they are now in the middle of a full-blown crisis under beleaguered boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Mourinho, speaking a few weeks after his rancorous departure from Old Trafford last year, spoke about how taking the club to second in the table in 2017/18 was one of his best achievements.

Eyebrows were raised as Solskjaer oversaw a dramatic turnaround in fortunes during his caretaker spell in charge, but the wheels started to come off towards the end of last season.

United’s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle on Sunday left them languishing in 12th spot in the Premier League — an incredible 15 points behind leaders Liverpool after just eight games.

Goalkeeper David de Gea apologised to United supporters, saying it was the toughest time he had experienced since moving to Old Trafford in 2011.

“It’s difficult to say something. Sorry to the fans, we will keep fighting for sure,” he told Sky Sports. “We will come back but at the moment we are in a difficult situation.” – AFP