Manchester United spent the 2019-20 season fighting for a Champions League position. The club had several performers who were their players of the year.
United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, held his hand up to his eyes, shielding them from the blinding Manchester rain. He was looking up into the stands, eagerly searching for a recognizable face.
It was March 8, and the Red Devils stunned their cross-town rivals in the derby pulling the club within three points of a qualification spot for Europe’s biggest tournament. It had been a long, difficult road for their manager, a club legend who had thrilled the club’s fans when he was hired but had weathered their blistering criticism.
The fan’s question: #OleOut or #OleIn?
MUFC was incredibly inconsistent all season. They started with a demonstrative 4-0 win against Chelsea but followed that up with losses to Crystal Palace and West Ham. Later on, Man U followed up a win against Manchester City with a draw against Everton and a loss against Watford.
United then drew against Liverpool, which was their oldest rivals only blemish on a perfect season at the time. Then they lost to Bournemouth two weeks later. Ole’s seat was getting progressive warmer, then scorching when Mauricio Pochettino suddenly was on the market, having been scrapped in a bad break-up with Tottenham.
Then Bruno came to town
With the transfer of Bruno Fernandes from Portugal, things began to come together, and there was a new spark in the club and manager.
Having withstood the virtual tempest, Solskjaer stood on the pitch at the stadium that now was singing his praises. His club had beaten those “noisy neighbors” in the derby, three out of their last four meetings. The rain fell in sheets, and Ole was looking into the crowd, searching.
When asked in the post-match interview who he was looking for, the positively humble United boss replied: “My family was up there.” Many players helped Man United and their manager reach the moment where their season finally came together.