Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was today defiant in the face of continuing discontent among fans regarding the club’s (lack of) summer transfer activity.
Despite his confirmation that he wanted to get his summer transfer business done ‘early’ as last season drew to a miserable, torturous close, the sum total of the Old Trafford club’s wheeling and dealing thus far has been to recruit one Welsh winger nobody has ever heard of. Daniel James will inevitably spend the next twelve months drawing unfavourable comparisons to Ryan Giggs before being shipped off on loan to Middlesbrough.
On social media, fans have been quick to defend their manager, choosing instead to blame those who sit above him in the United hierarchy for the ongoing problems. United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has come in for particularly strong criticism, as have time-honoured hate targets the Glazer family, who ultimately own the club.
“We’ve been consistent in our opposition to the Glazer family since they first bought the club back in 2005,” confirmed fans spokesman Ian Marmalade. “They’ve had more than a billion quid out of the club since they first landed, and we definitely wouldn’t have fallen so far behind Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, and sometimes Everton if it wasn’t for that. That’s why all fans have been totally committed to wearing green and gold for the past thirteen years, except the seasons when we’ve actually done alright. Now that we’re off the pace again it’s really reinforced the message that it’s actually all the Glazers’ fault, and our protest activities will continue until we’ve at least won the Carabao Cup or something.”
Spurred on by the passion of Marmalade, our reporters went looking for Solskjaer to see if he could offer any clarity or hope to the club’s long-suffering fans, who have now gone two years without a major trophy. Our calls to the club and to his private telephone number initially went unanswered, but we eventually located him turning his pockets out inside a Manchester casino, having had to present age verification documents to get in despite being 46 years old.
Sweating, and seemingly mildly distracted as he fumbled at the machines, Solskjaer had the following to say.
“Look, I know everyone was expecting us to sign De Ligt, or Dybala, or Bale. Or maybe even Ronaldo, like we’re rumoured to be doing every season and still will be when he’s forty. But that’s just not the way of the club any more. I’ve had really good news on Aaron Wan-Bissaka. He’s so keen to get to Manchester to sign for us that he deliberately played like someone who’d never seen a football before at the Euros, just so England could get eliminated early and he could get back home to talk about his contract. If that isn’t commitment to the cause, I don’t know what is. I know he might not have the profile that fans were hoping for, but any of you who play Football Manager regularly will know that he turns out to be an absolute world beater if you give him five years or so. I’m pretty confident I won’t mess that up. Plus I won’t be here in five years anyway, so why should I worry?”
Solskjaer’s attention then returned to the mobile casino game he was playing, which prompted us to ask him why he was in the casino in the first place. That only seemed to annoy him.
“As I’ve always said, I have full control over the club’s summer transfer budget, and it’s a big one. As we can’t seem to find any players to spend on it, I’ve brought it down here to the casino see how I get on at the tables. That didn’t go so well, so now I’m trying to win it back. I’ve found a UK mobile slots game called Striker Goes Wild, and as I used to be one, I figured this would be a good way to make a return. Oddly, it all seemed to start really well, and I was pulling off a few jackpots by the skin of my teeth. Now I can’t seem to win anything at all. It’s almost as if luck isn’t enough at a casino, and you also need a bit of skill to get you over the line. I feel like that should be a metaphor for something, although I can’t put my finger on it. Anyway, I just need to get on a lucky streak. The first tenner I make back is the first step towards one hundred million. Any chance you could lend us one?”
Feeling that lending the seemingly luckless Manchester United manager money was a bad idea, our reporter respectfully withdrew from the conversation and walked away, leaving Solskjaer turning out his pockets and then offering to autograph people’s napkins for five pounds a time.
With seemingly no big name saviour on the horizon, the task of Solskjaer and his club next season looks an ominous one. Paul Pogba has already made subtle suggestions that he would rather stick a fork into both his eyes and run into a wall than play for United again, and Alexis Sanchez is seemingly fated never to recover from the voodoo hex that was placed upon him by Arsene Wenger as he said his final goodbyes at Arsenal. Short of a major recruit to bolster a back line which will once again inexplicably contain both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling for another year, United’s best hope of cracking the top four next season now seems to rest on the fact that Chelsea have been banned from buying anybody new for the next year, and are about to appoint an inexperienced manager who recently failed to get Derby County promoted to the Premier League.
For the sake of completeness, we attempted to get a quote from Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola for our article. Showing a remarkable grasp of English slang which often eluded him during interviews last season, Guardiola would only say that he found the situation at Old Trafford to be “totes lolz.”