On the field at Craven Cottage, Manchester United looked — as usual, now — like a team that knew where it was going.
Paul Pogba, not so long ago told he was a “virus” and that he would never captain the team again, toyed with Fulham in midfield. On the left, Anthony Martial — an exile at one point not that far off and so discontented that he would not sign a new contract — fizzed with menace. Behind him, Luke Shaw, publicly shamed time and again by his former manager, looked once again like one of England’s finest fullbacks.
The turnaround was remarkable. A United team that had been shrouded in gloom for the first five months of the season was full of “joy and confidence,” as Pogba put it afterward. Every player was “at his best,” as far as he could tell. United would end the weekend in fourth place in the Premier League; in only a few weeks, qualification for next season’s Champions League, previously deemed a distant possibility, had become a probability.
In the stands, too, United looked like a club with a destination in mind. Avram Glazer, one of the club’s owners, was in the directors’ box. So, too, was Jim Solbakken, the agent of the man responsible for the transformation: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United’s caretaker manager. Solbakken and Glazer spoke during the game, Solskjaer and Glazer talked after it.
The rumors, by that stage, had been swirling for a while, the whispers quickly growing into screams: first that the permanent manager’s position was Solskjaer’s to lose; then that United was wavering on its desire to appoint Mauricio Pochettino, of Tottenham Hotspur, this summer; and finally that the decision had already been made, that Solskjaer — then unbeaten in his first 11 games since replacing José Mourinho — had taken to life at Old Trafford so well that the post would be his.
Seeing Glazer and Solbakken together, followed swiftly by Solskjaer’s admission that he had spoken with the club’s owner, seemed to make it a fait accompli.
Few thought the end of Solskjaer’s unbeaten start — a defeat in the Champions League against Paris St.-Germain on Tuesday — should change any of that.
In a matter of weeks, after all, the Norwegian seemed to have lifted the veil that had descended during Mourinho’s choleric tenure; Solskjaer had restored United to something close to what it is supposed to be.
Where Mourinho had made a habit of criticizing his players in public, Solskjaer took care to praise every single one of them after a victory against Tottenham, and Pochettino, that had been the most impressive of his young reign. Where Mourinho had scowled and sneered through public engagements, Solskjaer has the air of a man living a dream, good-natured and good-humored.
Where Mourinho complained endlessly about United’s transfer strategy, and the greater resources enjoyed by his putative rivals, Solskjaer seems to revel in working with players he regards as among the best in the world. Mourinho’s relationship with some had soured so much that his messages to the players were often transmitted through Kieran McKenna, the first-team coach; Solskjaer, a former United forward, has been giving his strikers tips on precise movements and types of finish.
Even at the executive level, the restored joy and the confidence inculcated in the players had proved infectious, impossible to resist. As Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice chairman and the man who will ultimately decide on the club’s permanent managerial appointment, said on an investor call this week, Solskjaer had “had a positive impact throughout the club.”
Common consensus, not to mention common sense, had it that the job should be his. He had dispelled the myth, expertly but inexplicably disseminated by Mourinho, that United’s players were not up to scratch. He had proved, incontrovertibly, that what was holding the club back was the manager, not the squad.
If that is a seductive view for United’s fans — so delighted to have been rescued by a hero from their golden age — it is even more alluring to Woodward, Glazer and the rest of the club’s hierarchy, a remedy that is not only simple, but immediate and inexpensive.
It is, though, to be resisted. As satisfying (not to mention easy) as it would be to place all of United’s recent ills at Mourinho’s door, it would not be a reflection of reality. He was as much symptom as cause of United’s drift in recent years; his departure, and Solskjaer’s arrival, was a first step on the way back. It should not be confused with the end of the journey.
Last summer, United bowed to the overwhelming trend of the modern era and decided to appoint a technical director, someone to fill the role occupied by Txiki Begiristain at Manchester City and by Michael Edwards at Liverpool. Mourinho was against it, but Woodward’s mind was made up.
He was not, though, in a rush. Earlier this season, when news media reports linked one potential candidate to the role, the executive in question got in touch with Woodward to inform him that he was not the source of the articles. Woodward, unruffled, told him that he did not expect to make an appointment for two years.
As recently as Christmas, the idea was still very much in the planning stages. United has spoken to at least one headhunting firm, specialists in sports recruitment, to gauge how, precisely, it might run a process to identify suitable candidates. United was understandably cautious in the meeting, asking more questions than offering answers. It did not make it clear if it was searching for a recruitment specialist, someone to oversee the whole soccer operation, or more of a figurehead. It had not yet decided whether it needed outside help to appoint any of them. It had not ruled out an internal appointment, or that it would opt for a former player.
That, of course, could have been nothing more than professional discretion, if it was not for the fact that many in the club remain unclear even now on how, exactly, Woodward conceives of the role.
The club has not yet internally decided what title the new appointment — if and when it is made — will hold, or what responsibilities the holder will have. In the investor call on Thursday, Woodward filibustered. “We are looking at that role and ways we can make it stronger and it is something we will do on a continual basis,” he said.
That lack of clarity is not ideal. United has been linked with a succession of high-profile names — Andrea Berta of Atlético Madrid; Monchi of A.S. Roma; Juventus’s Fabio Paratici; Ajax’s Edwin van der Sar — and it has widely been assumed that all would find the prospect of working at Old Trafford appealing. Without a clear, codified set of responsibilities, though, all are likely to be put off, according to several people who work in sports executive recruitment.
United has been hamstrung ever since the retirement of Alex Ferguson by precisely this lack of vision, this ignorance of destination. It is what has led to three dispiriting managerial appointments, wilderness years under men unable or unwilling to grasp the club’s identity, money wasted on a squad high on quality but low on balance.
That is not something Solskjaer can solve. It is not something he has been employed to solve. But nor should his success allow United to gloss over it again, to fall into the comforting but corrosive belief that all of its problems can be solved by finding one great man to lead the team. Joy and confidence will take you only so far. The players know where they are going. They will not get there until the club does, too.B:
【红】【彤】【彤】【的】【火】【炉】【燃】【烧】【正】【旺】，【阿】【泰】【每】【一】【锤】【都】【竭】【尽】【全】【力】，【用】【力】【的】【去】【塑】【造】。 【他】【的】【锻】【造】【技】【艺】【很】【强】，【也】【许】【是】【因】【为】【种】【族】【天】【赋】【的】【缘】【故】，【让】【他】【非】【常】【擅】【长】【锻】【造】【相】【关】【的】【职】【业】。 【若】【阿】【泰】【是】【人】【族】，【那】【无】【论】【在】【帝】【国】【还】【是】【联】【邦】，【这】【份】【技】【艺】【都】【会】【给】【他】【换】【来】【惊】【人】【的】【财】【富】。 【哪】【怕】【是】【妖】【魔】【两】【族】【中】【的】【任】【何】【一】【个】【都】【好】，【但】【他】【恰】【恰】【是】【混】【血】。 【是】【双】【方】【都】【不】【会】
“……【妖】【兽】【攻】【城】？” 【东】【方】【朔】【看】【着】【如】【此】【场】【面】，【登】【时】【愣】【了】【一】【下】。 【而】【直】【到】【此】【刻】，【他】【也】【才】【是】【恍】【然】【大】【悟】。 【为】【什】【么】【这】【地】【处】【边】【境】【的】【城】【池】，【会】【看】【起】【来】【如】【此】【之】【固】【若】【金】【汤】。 【这】【是】【为】【了】【抵】【御】【近】【在】【咫】【尺】【的】，【随】【时】【会】【冲】【出】【妖】【神】【山】【脉】【的】【妖】【兽】【啊】！ 【虽】【然】【同】【为】【妖】【神】【山】【脉】，【但】【徐】【州】【的】【这】【部】【分】【与】【青】【州】【的】【那】【部】【分】，【却】【因】【为】【一】【点】【差】【异】，【而】【截】【然】【不】
【在】【龙】【源】【坝】【镇】【雅】【溪】【古】【村】【景】【区】，【来】【这】【里】【游】【玩】【的】【人】【都】【喜】【欢】【买】【上】【一】【些】“【福】【清】【米】【酒】”，【因】【为】【这】【个】【米】【酒】【货】【真】【价】【实】，【口】【感】【又】【好】，【在】【当】【地】【已】【是】【小】【有】【名】【气】。“【福】【清】【米】【酒】”【的】【老】【板】【不】【是】【别】【人】，【正】【是】【雅】【溪】【村】【贫】【困】【户】【王】【福】【清】。宝马论坛www130222“【我】【是】【死】【是】【活】，【跟】【你】【没】【有】【一】【点】【关】【系】！” 【宋】【甄】【珠】【静】【静】【站】【在】【那】【里】。【还】【是】【没】【有】【开】【口】【说】【一】【句】【话】。 “【以】【后】，【不】【要】【再】【出】【现】【在】【我】【的】【视】【线】【里】。” 【杨】【连】【云】【终】【于】【移】【开】【了】【眼】【光】，【看】【向】【了】【窗】【外】。 “【我】【不】【需】【要】【你】【感】【谢】【我】。【我】【也】【没】【有】【任】【何】【目】【的】，【甚】【至】，【我】【并】【没】【有】【接】【近】【你】。”【宋】【甄】【珠】【缓】【缓】【开】【口】，【声】【音】【清】【脆】【好】【听】，【像】【一】【股】【清】【泉】【水】【在】【缓】【慢】【流】【淌】
“【先】【生】【要】【买】【点】【海】【鲜】【吗】？【最】【近】【在】【打】【折】，【有】【优】【惠】【的】【哦】！” 【夜】【楚】【天】【带】【着】【陶】【妖】【妖】【随】【便】【兜】【转】【了】【两】【圈】，【便】【来】【到】【了】【人】【潮】【人】【海】【的】【鱼】【制】【品】【售】【卖】【区】，【那】【儿】【的】【推】【销】【员】【又】【过】【来】【给】【他】【们】【解】【释】【了】【一】【大】【堆】【产】【品】。 “【先】【生】，【我】【们】【这】【里】【的】【鱼】【制】【品】【都】【是】【出】【了】【名】【的】【好】【的】，【您】【看】【这】【里】【有】【生】【干】【的】【也】【有】【盐】【干】【的】，【煮】【干】【的】，【您】【要】【哪】【一】【种】？【还】【有】【这】【个】【瑚】【珊】【是】【腌】【的】，【也】【是】
“【你】【瞧】【着】【雪】【儿】，【现】【在】【是】【混】【的】【风】【生】【水】【起】【了】。”【颜】【蓁】【指】【着】【远】【处】【那】【人】【说】【道】。 【作】【为】【苏】【桂】【卿】【的】【夫】【人】，【自】【然】【有】【不】【少】【人】【要】【去】【巴】【结】【颜】【雪】。 【颜】【雪】【现】【在】【的】【样】【子】，【和】【之】【前】【的】【比】【较】，【可】【谓】【是】【扬】【眉】【吐】【气】【了】。 【颜】【淑】【笑】【了】【一】【笑】，【没】【有】【接】【话】。 【因】【为】【圣】【上】【的】【事】【情】，【太】【后】【精】【神】【不】【济】，【早】【早】【的】【就】【让】【人】【走】【了】。 【颜】【蓁】【作】【为】【皇】【家】【的】【儿】【媳】【妇】，【不】【能】【先】【走】
【体】【会】【这】【股】【力】【量】，【王】【羽】【能】【感】【知】【到】【其】【中】【惊】【人】【的】【威】【力】。 【创】【世】【能】【级】【的】【力】【量】【展】【现】【在】【面】【前】，【刹】【那】【间】，【无】【数】【平】【行】【世】【界】【分】【析】【的】【结】【果】【汇】【总】【到】【了】【王】【羽】【的】【眼】【前】，【形】【成】【一】【闪】【而】【过】【的】【画】【面】。【在】【画】【面】【闪】【烁】【的】【一】【瞬】【间】，【仿】【佛】【未】【来】【的】【种】【种】【可】【能】【都】【已】【经】【经】【历】【过】【一】【遍】【后】，【事】【物】【又】【回】【来】【过】【去】【的】【原】【点】，【让】【他】【得】【以】【了】【解】【约】【束】【这】【股】【力】【量】【的】【方】【法】。 【王】【羽】【出】【其】【不】【意】【的】【抽】
【孟】【杨】【挂】【了】【电】【话】，【与】【姜】【玲】【说】【了】【下】【就】【出】【去】【了】。 【刚】【走】【到】【写】【字】【楼】【的】【大】【门】【口】，【孟】【杨】【便】【看】【到】【了】【女】【秘】【书】【李】【若】【安】，【而】【她】【正】【对】【着】【那】【大】【堂】【经】【理】【训】【斥】【着】。 【李】【若】【安】【带】【着】【黑】【框】【眼】【镜】，【静】【若】【处】【子】，【没】【想】【到】【脾】【气】【暴】【躁】【起】【来】【也】【还】【有】【些】【可】【爱】。 【因】【为】【隔】【的】【不】【近】，【孟】【杨】【听】【得】【不】【是】【很】【真】【切】。 【似】【乎】【是】【李】【若】【安】【对】【这】【经】【理】【的】【办】【事】【能】【力】【很】【不】【满】【意】，【这】【才】【专】【门】【找】