Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spent more than a decade at Manchester United learning from a managerial master in the shape of Sir Alex Ferguson.

But now he has the job as United boss himself, it appears Solskjaer has forgotten some of the lessons Fergie bestowed on him. Like how to defend the indefensible.

Fergie proved time and time again how good he was at diffusing controversies and deflecting attention from those who had caused them in the first place.

Like in 1999 when Roy Keane was arrested and spent the night in police cells after being accused of kicking a woman in a Manchester bar ahead of United's FA Cup final win over Newcastle.

Before heading to Bootle Street police station, Fergie dismissed the scandal when he said: "We'll have to straighten this out, but from what I can gather, it's inaccurate."

Solskjaer will be disappointed with his United side's first day

Keane was released without charge, kept his place in the side and United went on to win a famous and historic treble.

Fast forward to 2020 and Solskjaer now finds himself in Fergie's position back then of having to fight fires, but his attempt to put the one out engulfing Mason Greenwood has turned into a damp squib.

To recap. Greenwood, 18, was thrown out of the England squad just hours after his debut and forced to fly home in shame after deciding, along with Phil Foden, that it was a bright idea to smuggle two girls into the team hotel in Iceland and break strict protocols regarding Covid-19.

But in a bungled attempt to be Fergie, Solskjaer took the decision to condemn the Football Association for picking Greenwood against his wishes, therefore suggesting that had Greenwood not gone to Iceland in the first place, his moronic meltdown wouldn't have happened.

Ferguson watched on from the stands at Old Trafford

As imitations of the legendary Scot go, it was poor to say the least.

But things went from bad to worse when Solskjaer, who refused to condemn Greenwood's behaviour, claimed he hadn't spoken to Gareth Southgate because he doesn't have his phone number.

So we are now led to believe that the United manager doesn't have the mobile phone number of the England manager, someone who is a regular visitor to Old Trafford because the club tends to provide a regular stream of international stars?

If Solskjaer doesn't think it's a good idea to have the England manager in his office after a game, then he needs to think again.

Solskjaer was not happy with Greenwood's involvement in the England camp

Shouldn't he be eager to have some dialogue with Southgate and build a relationship? The pair are going to need favours from each other, for goodness sake.

Fergie used to have England bosses into his office just so he could tell them what to do. For him it was all about control and Sven Goran Eriksson admitted that Fergie had once 'threatened to kill' him if he included Wayne Rooney in his England World Cup squad in 2006.

Unlike Keane back in the day, Greenwood is guilty as charged and sometimes a player's behaviour is so bad you have to just hold your hands up and say he made a serious mistake, it's been dealt with and we move on.

Instead, Solskjaer has gone to war with the FA. The Norweigan is leading his United team in the right direction when it comes to results and progress but equally, he still has so much more to learn.

Macc woes highlight need for change

Gareth Bale jetted into London on a private plane owned by Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy to seal his return to the club on a 12-month loan deal.

The pair then had a round of golf at private members club Hadley Wood in Hertfordshire, whose course was designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie from Augusta National.

No doubt Levy was keen to indulge his new signing in his favourite pastime, while discussing the finer details of who will be paying Bale's £600,000-a-week wages.

Up in Manchester, meanwhile, Marcos Rojo rocked up for training at United this week in a bright orange Rolls Royce costing £160,000.

Bale's private jet arrives in London ahead of his transfer

It was quite a statement, not least because despite earning £80,000-a-week, Rojo has not made a single appearance for United since November 2019. The Argentine international was deemed surplus to requirements and sent packing to Estudiantes on loan.

These two grotesque examples of what life is still like at the top of football played out while Macclesfield Town were being wound up in the High Court due to huge debts.

They have now gone to the wall like Bury, while Southend face a winding up order and could be next.

In the real world, those living from hand to mouth in the wake of the crippling damage done by Covid-19 need urgent help to stop them from being derailed altogether. And it has to come from those still riding on the gravy train at full speed.

Macclesfield Town went to the wall this past week

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Let's not forget it was Spurs who tried to use the Government's furlough scheme during lockdown.

This battle isn't about the survival of the richest - it's about the sport doing what is both needed and right to prevent clubs and communities like Macclesfield from being ruined forever.

GOOD WEEK FOR...

Jurgen Klopp - The Liverpool boss has got himself a world class player in the shape of Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich.

Glenn Maxwell - The Aussie powerhouse blasted 108 from 90 balls to help his side beat England 2-1 in the ODI series - their first series loss on home soil since 2015.

Geoff Parling - The former England and British & Irish Lions second row has been hired as Australia's forwards coach.

Aguero looks like he is going to miss two months of the season

BAD WEEK FOR...

Sergio Aguero - He could now miss the first two months of the new season with a lingering knee problem.

Petra Kvitova - The two-time Wimbledon champion has been moaning about how difficult life can be as one of the richest and most famous players in the women's game. Do me a favour.

Ripdorf FC - The German team lost 37-0 to their local rivals after fielding just seven players, who then decided to social distance during the game.