When Manchester United turns to their former player Ole Gunnar Solksjaer (OGS) to replace Jose Mourinho, they are mixed responses worldwide from the football fan. The United fan is jubilant as their former player who scored the winning goal in 1999 makes Manchester United the first English team to complete the treble of Premier League, FA CUP and UEFA Champion League. OGS had seen as the man who can bring a positive vibe. Jose Mourinho seemed to make the dressing inhospitable with public criticism and targeted criticism, especially on Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw.
With the OGS record, who had lost four semifinals, and the UEL final peculiarly against Villareal, criticism had increased for OGS. However, the board of United had reiterated that they would back him up. The appointment of OGS in the early stages is deemed temporary as Manchester United is planning to hire their long-term target manager, Mauricio Pochettino, who becomes the Paris Saint Germain manager. OGS had made a quick positive turnaround as United performance had been excellent, culminating in the superb comeback against PSG. With these results and positive vibes to the team and the support of the United faithful, Woodward had decided to appoint OGS as the permanent manager. Woodward still stuck with his decision to his credit even when the results do not favour OGS and the team.
OGS did not have the same calibre as Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. He only won trophies with Molde, his former club manager; however, he deserves a new contract and backing from the board. He changed United fortune after Sir Alex Ferguson retirement.
Changing the Inhospitable to Positive
Jose Mourinho was sacked because of the pure inhospitable environment he created for the player and the public, which translated to the bad performance in the field. The result of these disastrous environments is when United was outplayed and embarrassingly toyed by Liverpool in Anfield. OGS quickly bring a positive vibe to the team by playing a United style of football and including the turnaround against PSG.
On ability to handle the media and criticism
Unlike Jose Mourinho, who likes to retaliate to the media in a hostile manner, OGS handled the press and criticism calmly and positively. Whatever critism was directed to him, whether in performance and the player, he took in a non-hostile manner. Furthermore, he refrains publicly criticising his player, unlike Jose Mourinho, who publicly commented negatively on Pogba and Luke Shaw.
Recruitment had been United kryptonite since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. Mourinho had lamented and grumbled that he did not have his target, but even though OGS did not have his man, the man he recruited was his perfect fit for united. The transfer of Harry Maguire as a centre back to reinforce the defender added with right-back Aaron wan Bissaka, and the purchase of Bruno Fernandez had improved united to where they in the second place and had been to UEFA Champion League in 2 consecutive seasons. Edinson Cavani, recruited on the final day of transfer window season, had been excellent and had broken the curse of number seven jerseys. With Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho, and Christiano Ronaldo added to the current squad; United is expected to go up further than last season’s winning trophy.
Playing Manchester United Way.
Under Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United is famed for playing quick passing, a prolific winger on the flank and rapid transition from defence to attack as the style had been coined as “The United Way”. Furthermore, OGS also had given a considerable amount of playing time for United academy players, which is also the tradition of Manchester United. One player who had gained an enormous gain from these is Mason Greenwood, who had been identified as the next world-class striker. With Christiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani, he will improve and live up to his potential.
Revived the Never Say Die Attitude
Manchester United now had broken the English league record for being unbeaten for 28 games away overtaken Arsenal record of 27 games. Manchester United under OGS had been able to surpass Arsenal record as OGS had revived the never say die attitude that had been waned since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. The unbeaten away record had been remarkable as United had come from a losing position to won a game eight times last season, the most by any team in the league.
He improved many players.
Luke Shaw was under constant criticism from Jose Mourinho, but under OGS, he had become the best left-back and had been a key player in England when they reached their first-ever Euro final in this season European Competition. He had called as Shawberto Carlos due to his excellent playing on the left flank. Mctominay and Fred had become a critical pivot in the midfield for the OGS team. Greenwood had been a revelation under OGS, who had been called the best natural finisher for Manchester United.
Instilled Winning Mentality.
When Marcus Rashford was interviewed after the UEFA Europa League final where Manchester United had lost to Villareal, he had said that finishing second is nothing. This mentality had been summoned and instilled by OGS. Manchester United had been trophyless for four years since Jose Mourinho Manchester United won the UEFA Europa League in 2017. They also have not lifted the Premier League for eight years since 2013. To say finishing second is nothing after many years of trophyless shows the winning mentality and the desire of United players under OGS to end the trophy drought.
OGS had revived Manchester United as they had seen as the title contender while some had written them off. Last season, Manchester United were in first place in the first half of the league season before poor results had rattled them. They had drawn many games, and Manchester City’s excellent consecutive winning form led them to surrender first place to Manchester City. Learning from the last season and the addition of a new player plus the improvement of the current player can lead Manchester United to have a happy ending in the current season. We need to wait and see how the performance will be