London, May 13: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has experienced glorious highs and abject lows during his short time in charge of Manchester United and the club's plight at the end of the season is in stark contrast to the mood around Old Trafford at the turn of the year.
The man revered at United for his ability to turn games with moments of brilliance as a player led the Red Devils to a 12-game unbeaten Premier League run that started when he took over in December and only ended in March.
But since then his side's form has capitulated, and two wins from their last nine league outings left them sixth in the final table, five points outside the top four and 32 behind champions Manchester City.
The slump coincided with Solskjaer signing a three-year contract that raised eyebrows throughout English football as a man with limited management pedigree was handed the reins at one of the game's biggest clubs.
32 - Manchester United have finished 32 points behind the champions this season - more than they finished behind the top-flight winners when they were relegated in 1973-74 (30 points). Chasm. pic.twitter.com/bTozZLw6X3— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 12, 2019
That said, the Norwegian's performance prior to signing the deal was undeniably impressive, with United winning 14 of their 19 matches in all competitions under Solskjaer as caretaker boss, scoring 40 goals from 244 shots.
Since he put pen to paper on his contract, Solskjaer has seen his side's win rate drop from 73.7 per cent to just 20, and the free-scoring football has disappeared.
United have scored a measly seven goals from 134 shots - a drop in shot conversion rate from 16.4 per cent to 5.2 - and the picture is no prettier at the other end of the field.
A United defence that conceded 17 goals in the 19 matches before Solskjaer was appointed on a permanent basis has since shipped 18 in 10, keeping no clean sheets with the previously unflappable David de Gea guilty of making a number of glaring errors.
That their average possession in games dropped off by less than five per cent during their end-of-season slump will be scant consolation as the club legend seeks to avoid being rebranded a failure.