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It is now no longer a secret that Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has been sacked as Manchester United manager. After a woeful display at Watford, how he could have survived a drubbing like that was out of the question. Should he have gone a while back?
Alongside new podcast contributor Sumit Haldar, we discuss what happens next for Manchester United as Michael Carrick takes temporary charge. We also have time to discuss whether Arsenal’s ten-game unbeaten run coming to an end at Liverpool was same old Arsenal. The argument is clear. Mikel Arteta’s side were going to be tested at Anfield, a genuine chance to show how good the Gunners really are, and ultimately they got demolished in the second half. I’ve heard many arguments about Arsenal playing well in the first half, still in the game, still competing, but a football match isn’t about one half, it’s cliche but a game is 90 minutes. There won’t be any panic as Arsenal are a team in progress under Arteta, who still needs more time, but I’m still nowhere near convinced that they’ll make any progress in the top flight this season.
I also have that same view of Tottenham. It’s strange because right now both North London clubs are nowhere the expected levels required to challenge for the top four let alone a Premier League title. Similar to Arsenal but halves flipped on their head, Spurs were so dreadful in the first half at home to Leeds that a rocket was probably fired up their backsides by Antonio Conte in the dressing room. The second half was a big improvement, the exciting football I expect to see from the ‘big six’ week in week out. We talk on the pod about how far the Italian can take Tottenham. A top four finish, a Carabao Cup, maybe a tilt at the UEFA Conference League? One thing is for sure – Conte needs time.