Neil Humphreys: North London stalks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Arsenal boss may beat him, Spurs boss may replace him
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be forgiven for loathing north London almost as much as Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur loathe each other.
The beleaguered Manchester United manager faces the Gunners tomorrow morning (Singapore time), but he is effectively taking on two foes from the same turf.
Arsenal's Unai Emery intends to defeat him.
Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly a candidate to replace him.
Spurs' grumpy manager continues to suggest otherwise, but the irony is lost on no one.
Despite a patchy start, Tottenham could still end the weekend in a Champions League spot, largely overachieving on a limited budget.
Solskjaer's wheezing piggy bank, on the other hand, languish in mid-table in the same week that United announced record revenues of £627.1 million (S$1.06 billion).
Both Tottenham and Arsenal can only dream of posting such revenues, knowing that the Red Devils reach parts of the planet that other clubs cannot.
But United's noodle sponsors and official paint partners cannot gloss over the dilapidated Theatre of Dreams.
The north London clubs have less money, but arguably superior squads and certainly better attacking line-ups. That's down to Solskjaer and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, the one constant in six years of inconsistency.
But Woodward isn't going anywhere.
Almost £630 million buys tremendous goodwill from American owners who could not distinguish the English Premier League trophy from the League Cup in a silverware line-up.
Woodward isn't on borrowed time. His credit is exceedingly good.
But he did find time between finding the next official lubricant partner to give Solskjaer the dreaded vote of confidence, which probably has less credibility than Woodward's word in the transfer market.
Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, obviously loyal to their former teammate, speak of transitional periods, multiple transfer windows and the "United way" as if they are reading cod philosophy from a fortune cookie.
But United have already outspent almost every other EPL club.
Chelsea are picking kids as they deal with a transfer embargo, Arsenal remain as mercurial as Mesut Oezil and Pochettino is always one headline away from leaving Tottenham.
United's rivals are all in transition, but none have spent as much to put together a poor squad that lacks direction and was outplayed at West Ham United.
The absence of the kind of "holistic" planning that Manchester City advocate continues to handicap Solskjaer's progress. But there are pressing coaching concerns that he cannot blame on corporate mismanagement.
He allowed too many also-rans to leave the club without sourcing decent replacements.
Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Romelu Lukaku departed and no one filled their positions.
According to media reports, Sir Alex Ferguson wanted a bigger exodus than the six first-team squad members that were moved on. He was further aggrieved at the lack of squad rejuvenation.
If culpability falls somewhere between Woodward and Solskjaer - and Woodward has rarely excelled in the transfer market - then the current injury crisis and poor results are down to the manager.
When the Norwegian arrived, he obsessed over a perceived lack of fitness and flogged players in training. They ran more and won more, initially.
Then exhaustion took hold and injuries piled up, along with the defeats.
They won just two of their final 12 games last season. They've only won two out of six in the current EPL campaign.
United have scored just 18 goals in their last 20 games and may be forced to pick rookie Mason Greenwood against Arsenal.
Moreover, United's worrying inability to improve players on the training ground - a bad habit that started with David Moyes - has carried through to Solskjaer.
Have Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial or even Paul Pogba elevated their performances after Solskjaer's initial honeymoon? If anything, they have regressed, looking weary and unfocused.
Daniel James has started well, but it seems unreasonable to expect a 21-year-old with little previous first-team experience - and none in the EPL - to carry the creative workload.
For a club of United's stature, their reliance on an EPL novice, so soon and so often, is indicative of their decline.
Pochettino has his own problems at Spurs. But he also has a solid track record of making players better. Solskjaer does not.
The United manager needs a loss against Arsenal like he needs the Spurs boss being linked to his job.
North London is ganging up on Solskjaer. If he does not stop Emery tomorrow, he will not stop the Pochettino rumours.
Many believe Woodward acted rashly in appointing Solskjaer. He should've waited for Pochettino instead.
Another defeat may only persuade Woodward to fix his earlier mistake.