Silverware A Must
Speaking exclusively to Genting, the three-time Premier League winner said:
“Yeah, I do think so (that it would be a failure), without a doubt.
“They’ve come very close recently, semi-finals then finals. You need to be winning stuff. That’s what Man United do, and anything else is a failure, because that won’t be progression.
“The club have slowly progressed under Ole, but they need to take the next step now, so anything less is a failure for me.”
Those aspirations feel further away than ever at the moment, with United in perpetual crisis mode this season.
And Sheringham thinks consistency of selection is key to calming the waters at Old Trafford:
“Consistency in naming teams is a big thing,” he said.
“You get your regular keeper and your regular back four, your two settled midfield players, and then (former manager) Sir Alex (Ferguson) used to chop and change the strikers.
“The more players play together, once you’ve actually finalised who is your best XI, you chop and change one or two from that – because when you’re winning games, it doesn’t take so much out of you.
“But when you have got something, you’ve got to keep them all happy. You’re playing in
different competitions, you try and swap teams about to accommodate all the top players that you have.
“Sometimes you’ve got to upset players and say, ‘Look, you’ve got to wait for your chance.’ Rather than accommodating players, just say, ‘Look, you need to do better when you get in.’
“But that’s the way we worked and if you got in, you wanted to stay in, so you performed to the highest level.”
Ronaldo Form Key
Another key factor for Manchester United will be the form of iconic frontman Cristiano Ronaldo, who already has nine goals in just 12 appearances for the Red Devils this season.
But handling the global superstar will undoubtedly test Solskjaer’s man management skills, as Sheringham was keen to point out:
“He (Ronaldo) is going to have to be managed and he won’t be able to keep playing every game, like he wants to,” he explained.
“And Ole will need to be strong to do that. But I think there’s good respect.
“I think the bigger point is, if Man United don’t win anything, then I think Ronaldo’s going to get the hump with what’s going on.
“I don’t think it will be about their actual relationship. I think it will be if Man United miss out, if they’re miles away from winning the league by the end of the season – or if they get knocked out in the next stage of the Champions League and the FA Cup, and have a disappointing season.
“And if they do have a disappointing season, then it feels inevitable what will happen with Ole. I don’t think it will come down to a Ronaldo-Ole situation.
“Ole knows where he’s at in his Man United career now. He needs to win a trophy and obviously Ronaldo wants to be part of that.”