Neil Humphreys: How Manchester United can save their season
With three defeats in their last six matches and injuries to key players, our columnist looks at what needs to change at Old Trafford
1) SIGN, SIGN AND SIGN AGAIN
There are no bargains in the January transfer window, just a bunch of jittery managers paying over the odds for inferior merchandise like crack addicts on a street corner in a Netflix drama.
But, equally, there is little chance of the Red Devils finishing in the top four either, not without a new striker.
A short-term replacement for Marcus Rashford is a must.
With impeccable timing, Edinson Cavani has leaked his unhappiness to the media and the Paris Saint-Germain forward is now available to the highest bidder (which is often the hapless United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward).
At 32, Cavani is an old and expensive brand name, an obvious choice for the literal Woodward, but the Uruguayan may favour a move to London.
But Solskjaer has to go for broke if he is set on Champions League qualification.
As the loss at Liverpool illustrated, the Red Devils also require midfield fortitude and Bruno Fernandes fits the bill. But Sporting Lisbon continue to haggle over the fee.
But the late, desperate introduction of Juan Mata against Liverpool also betrayed a side devoid of creativity.
A striker, a tough central midfielder and a nifty No.10 are the minimum requirements.
Short-term fixes, loan deals or even overpriced panic-buys, they are all required.
United are arguably three players away from finishing in the top four.
2) LEGENDS NEED TO STOP LYING
When Roy Keane succumbed, all hope seemed lost. The uncompromising pundit can usually be called upon for a bit of straight-talking, but he pulled his punches with Solskjaer.
The Manchester United legend will not criticise his former teammate and, while no one is calling for a witch hunt, the lack of objectivity is proving a problem.
Keane, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand and even Patrice Evra will not say what everyone else is seeing, which is damaging because Woodward usually sails with the fickle winds of popular opinion.
He hired Solskjaer for the same reason he would be reluctant to fire him now.
The Class of 92 and their various off-shoots carry tremendous media power in Britain and their views are not taken lightly.
As long as Solskjaer's old pals continue to indulge in their version of the Emperor's New Clothes, it is going to be left to Jamie Carragher to say what everyone else is thinking.
United's royalty need to be more honest in their appraisal of Solskjaer's season or nothing will change. While they remain in denial, the drift towards mediocrity will continue.
3) STOP TELLING 'LIES' TO MEDIA, OLE
Sir Alex Ferguson was a notorious liar. He told the media less than nothing (because what he did say was often deliberately misleading).
Fergie had a hate-hate relationship with the media, but he got away with it - just - because he kept winning.
And that mistrust has carried over into the digital age, making Old Trafford look ever more like an analog relic.
Paul Pogba has disappeared. No, he's with "his people". The club told him to have surgery. No, "his people" did.
Marcus Rashford played through the pain. No, he has endured back issues since childhood.
Whether it is a reluctance to admit a mistake or a hangover from the days of Fergie's mistrust, Solskjaer continues to contradict and often undermine himself.
It makes him look even weaker and adds to the sense that the circus is out of control.
It is not a coincidence that prominent football writer Neil Ashton recently quit journalism to become United's public relations adviser. The club cannot spin their own yarns properly.
A little truth-telling might bolster Solskjaer's credibility. At the moment, United cannot get their story straight.
4) GIVE WOODWARD A FINAL ULTIMATUM
Woodward must get this transfer window right or leave. Does that seem harsh? Not when the numbers are crunched.
According to Gary Neville, United have the second-highest wage bill in the world, a damning statistic when one considers the paucity of options at Anfield last Sunday.
So many of those names on the team sheet - Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof, Fred, Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira, Daniel James and Diogo Dalot - do not belong in the world's second- most expensive team.
After almost seven years of reckless spending, Woodward has gone through £850 million (S$1.5 billion) and four managers, and the squad continues to decline. It's a staggering mismanagement of resources.
Neville was right to call United's current position "unforgivable", even if he did focus on the boardroom, rather than the dugout - yet again.
Woodward can rack up the coffee, mattress and denim partners - all real sponsorship deals - but he cannot spend £850 million and fall 30 points behind Liverpool.
The Red Devils have more financial partners than decent first-team players, which says everything about Woodward's priorities.
He has got to spend wisely in the coming days or the Glazers should make that call.
Still, if Woodward needs to leave quickly, he can at least use United's official airline carrier.