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Football News: Is the Appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a Masterstroke by Manchester United?

Is the Appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a Masterstroke by Manchester United?
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I've read numerous posts by Manchester United supporters over the last few days urging us not to get carried away by the Solskjear revolution and to think with our heads rather than our hearts.

Firstly I think any thoughts of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer getting the job on permanent basis are obviously very premature. He's had a good start, played some entertaining football and got some of our better players performing to their potential. There is still along way to go until the end of the season and if results nosedive, then nobody will be calling for him to get the job full time.

From a personal perspective I didn't like the idea of an interim appointment. Pure speculation on my part, but it felt to me that the Club didn't have a plan. They didn't have the stomach to make a tough decision on our next manager so they kicked it into the long grass hoping a popular ex player could bring back the feel good factor and buy them some time.

I believe things must have become very toxic for them to sack Jose Mourinho. It is my belief that not only had his relationship deteriorated with a lot of his key players, but more importantly his relationship with Ed Woodward had soured as well. The timing of his dismissal is of significance because I don't think Woodward could stomach the thought of Mourinho publicly calling him out throughout another transfer window.

Whilst I don't think Mourinho was particularly popular with large sections of our supporters, neither is Woodward. A lot of fans despite the turgid football, were still sympathetic and many still believed that he'd not been backed sufficiently. Our league position suggested significant investment was still required in the squad and the pressure for January 2019 reinforcements would have been intense. With Mourinho gone and Solskjaer appointed all talk of the January window has been virtually eradicated.

From Woodward's perspective he has pulled a masterstroke. The players and fans are back onside buying him some much needed breathing space. There is no pressure or expectation for any January reinforcements and our most valuable asset, Paul Pogba is now back in form potentially sky rocketing his value should he posture for a move in the summer. If that wasn't cause to let him undo his top button and let out the proverbial sigh of relief after seemingly writing off our season at the half way point, it now appears we have an outside chance of making the top 4. Wow!

Ok back to Solskjaer, whilst I didn't want an interim manager, he's doing a brilliant job. He's been positive, articulate, said all the right things and more importantly got results. From listening to his interviews he clearly understands the Club. He is keen to implement and return the Club to the values and traditions laid down by Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson, which of course brought us so much success. He's been keen to give everybody a chance, whilst not making too many changes (in league games), emphasising team work and making everybody feel involved.

Perhaps the biggest difference has been a change in mentality. Under Mourinho and his predecessors David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal (LVG), we had a defensive and pragmatic mentality. The emphasis was on not losing, not conceding, studying the opposition and working out how to nullify their strengths rather than working on and trusting our own strengths.

Solskjaer has changed that mindset overnight. We now play our game focussing on our strengths, we now let the opposition worry about us rather than vice versa. We start games faster, playing with more energy and purpose. When we take the lead rather than protecting what we have, we strive for more. Solskjaer understands how we all want Manchester United to play. He understands it's about attractive, entertaining football, it's about possession, but with a purpose, it's about width and pace.

It's about hunger, desire, working hard, never giving up, going to the end in every game and never knowing when we're beaten. It's about tradition, history, romance and mavericks, flair and imagination. Our home stadium is nicknamed, The Theatre of Dreams after all. Solskjaer gets it, he's lived it, he's won the biggest prizes, sometimes by sheer determination and force of personality rather than anything else.

He's played with mavericks such as Eric Cantona and Ronaldo, he's seen and benefited from the importance of the academy and trusting in youth. His selflessness and patience helped him become a Club legend and score the most important and dramatic goal in our history. Moyes was overawed, LVG and Mourinho stubborn, divisive and egotistical. It was all about them and not the Club.

They dampened expectations whilst championing their own triumphs. With Solskjaer it's not about him, but the Club. Sentiment can blur the vision, let the heart rule the head, but with little confidence in the board to make the right choice, maybe it's all we've got. Make no mistake, football is a results business, even sentiment can't hide that, but if results remain on the same trajectory, maybe Solskjaer deserves his chance.

Written by DLIB January 06 2019 18:33:02


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