Back in December 2018, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed the Caretaker Manager of Manchester United for the remainder of the season following the sacking of Jose Mourinho. A lot of eyebrows were raised and questions were asked about the decision by the board considering the other options that were available at that time.
This was more to do with the position the club was in at the time, with then-manager Mourinho even accepting it would be a ‘Miracle’ if United did finish in the top four as his United side trailed 4th placed Chelsea by 11 points.
Enter Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer and after an inexplicable run of Two and half months, United now find themselves just a point behind Arsenal in 4th spot and going good in the FA cup having beaten the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea already in the competition.
It is understandable now that people would want to ask him about his long term prospects at Old Trafford, and with 12 wins and two draws in his 15 games for the club, he has significantly aided his cause for the permanent managerial role.
But what are the real reasons for this turn around and can they secure him the permanent job, lets have a look:
- Entertaining brand of Football:
Jose Mourinho did win two trophies and lead the club to a FA Cup final in his two full seasons as the boss, but the football that was played under him according to many United fans and experts was only meant to be effective to grind results and not entertaining, which is what the club has been known for.
However, United under Ole has been all about attacking football. There is a sense of purpose every time the team attacks now. One touch passing and link up play with pace between the front three looks menacing always. The full – backs have been pushing up consistently to join up the attack, all pointing emphasis on pure attacking Football. And not just that, ever since Ole was hired, United has conceded the least number of goals than any other team in the Premier league.
2. Rejuvenated Players :
When Jose Mourinho left the club in December, a lot of that had to with the reports of him having lost the dressing room and players losing the motivation to play under him. But, since the arrival of Solsjkaer the buzz around Old Trafford has been more than ever and the same can be said about the dressing room. The players look rejuvenated every game and are playing with freedom that has rarely been seen since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson. With the likes of Pogba, Lukaku and Herrera publicly addressing how optimistic everyone is in the team.
It’s very apparent that the first goal of his appointment was to get a sense of positivity among the fans and the players, and he has succeeded very well.
3. The Pogba Puzzle :
Ever since Manchester United signed Paul Pogba from Juventus for Club record fee, there were lot of speculations and question marks over him not able to justify his price tag and put in performance like he did for Juventus. A lot of that had to do with Jose not able to deploy him at his best position also restraining him from the attacking side of his play.
However, under Ole Pogba has been altogether different class. With every surging run and immaculate passing he has been in lethal form. Certain players thrive off liberty in movement and creativity and Pogba is certainly one of them. He is right up there with his goals and assists amongst the best in Europe now and he is going to play a vital role if United are to finish the season on a high leading to Ole getting the permanent job.
4. Emphasis Of Youth:
For a club marveled by the world for producing and integrating young academy players into its first team, there were not many opportunities for homegrown players under Jose Mourinho. But Solskjaer has molded himself brilliantly with the history of the club and lot of his team play depends on youth players like Rashford and Lingard , and even giving playing team to talented youngsters like Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong and more recently James Garner.
In opinions of many experts and Ex United Players, Ole has already done enough to prove his capability for the permanent job. He hasmanaged to get his teams right, juggled personnel to highlight opponent’sweakness, and gained significant credit for the way he has dealt with an injurycrisis.
He is leading United with Grace and class, refusing to take anything for granted for himself or his team and all the while carrying himselfin a manner befitting a Manchester United Manager.
When he arrived there were zero expectations, but now the Permanent role is his to Lose.