OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER has returned to Carrington to find a full in-tray of things to sort out.
After finishing second in the league last season he can point to progress at Manchester United.
There’s plenty of work for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to do at Man United during pre-seasonCredit: Reuters
But what the fans want is to bring that title — which they last won in 2013 — back to Old Trafford.
Here, SunSport’s Manchester United correspondent NEIL CUSTIS looks at what is facing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer next season.
Dean Henderson and David De Gea must now also battle Tom Heaton for the No1 spotCredit: Reuters
WHO IS SOLSKJAER GOING TO TRUST IN GOAL?
This is the major headache, with the manager unable to decide between David De Gea and Dean Henderson — which makes the return of Tom Heaton to where he spent his formative years all the more interesting.
Heaton has stated that he is back to win that first-team jersey he could never get a hold of at the start of his career.
De Gea looks past his best while Henderson did not grab his chance when it came last season.
Chopping and changing can increase the already immense pressure on the man handed the gloves for a game, so he needs a solid start from one of them.
I would give Heaton a chance as he comes without that burden from last season.
Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane is set to strengthen United’s defenceCredit: Getty
WHO CAN HE TRUST AT THE BACK?
Solskjaer has the best left-back in the country in Luke Shaw.
At right-back he has a great tackler in Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
However, the ex-Crystal Palace man’s distribution going forward is not great and he can be caught out by deep crosses.
That is why Solskjaer has pursued Kieran Trippier.
The main problem is who partners Harry Maguire.
There is not much faith in Victor Lindelof or Eric Bailly among fans but a dip into the transfer market could change that — which is why Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane is close to arriving.
Solskjaer needs to find Pogba’s best position on the fieldCredit: Getty
THE POGBA PROBLEM
This just never goes away. Why can’t any United manager get the form from him he showed at Juventus?
The thing is, in Italy he was part of a team dominant in Serie A. For United, he had to lift a fallen giant and has not been able to do it.
Solskjaer has tried different formations, different positions but still the French World Cup winner disappoints.
To be fair to him he sometimes puts balls through that team-mates do not read, which makes him look bad.
With just a year left on Pogba’s contract, Solskjaer needs him on a new deal and a public commitment to United, or to sell.
Otherwise this saga will drag on at a time when the manager needs no distractions.
United must keep Fernandes from vanishing when they need him the mostCredit: Getty
BRUNO FERNANDES GOING MISSING
His statistics have been incredible since joining United, with 40 goals and 25 assists from 80 appearances.
But United fans who witnessed his anonymous displays in the Euros will also not have been surprised.
If things are not going for him he can go into a bit of a huff and disappear when the game needs grabbing by the scruff of the neck.
His future is very much linked with whether Pogba commits to staying.
If he does then Fernandes will be focused again.
Marcus Rashford will be out until October when he undergoes shoulder surgeryCredit: PA
COPING WITHOUT RASHFORD
A fully fit Marcus Rashford is always on the start sheet but last season he simply wasn’t for most of it.
Credit to him for playing on when his shoulder needed an operation.
The team’s attacking options will certainly make this an easier one to solve, with both new signing Jadon Sancho and Daniel James able to switch from their preferred right-hand side to the left of a three behind Edinson Cavani.
What Solskjaer really needs is Anthony Martial to wake up and start playing again in that role.
United will relish playing in front of fans at Old Trafford againCredit: Getty
PLAYING AT HOME
United’s form at Old Trafford in the league last season was woeful as they surrendered 26 points, winning just nine of their 19 games.
The previous season they won just ten of 19, surrendering 20 points. In 2018-19 it was ten wins with visitors earning 21 points.
Now, Solskjaer will argue that the lack of fans during the past two seasons has hit Manchester United harder than most.
Without 75,000 Old Trafford does become a less daunting place.
But it has long since stopped being a fortress and Solskjaer needs to make it a formidable place to visit again.
Part of the problem is an increasingly impatient fan base, who have been starved of trophies for four years and without a title in eight.
That can lead to frustration in the ground and in turn lead to nervousness on the pitch.
The anti-Glazer sentiment is never far from the surface either.
When in full voice, however, it remains an incredible atmosphere that the players need to feed off this season.
United’s Euro players will be welcomed back with open armsCredit: Getty
EURO DISAPPOINTMENTS AND ABUSE
A number of players will have reason to feel down about the Euros but it was Rashford and Sancho who missed penalties in the final and were subjected to racial abuse.
Solskjaer is a very good man-manager and when they have enjoyed their holidays he will make sure there are no lasting effects.
The welcome from United fans will also lift them.
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