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5 Ways Ole Has Transformed United
By: Daniel Cox | Saturday, 09 March 2019
After this week's Champions League heroics in Paris, I don’t have to tell you how much of a revelation Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is to Manchester United. But, how exactly has he turned the Reds around so quickly?

Here’s 5 reasons that I think have been key to Ole bringing the good times back to United:
Restoring confidence in the players
Whether you blame Mourinho or not, a lot of players seemed shackled tactically, and low on confidence mentally during his reign. Solskjaer came in, and restored all the belief back into players we’d not seen in their best for large parts of the season.
Rashford has looked like a different player under Solskjaer, Lukaku is finding the net again, Lindelof and Smalling are looking solid at defensively, and Martial is even smiling on the pitch again! This is to name just a few players that have improved rapidly since the Norwegian’s arrival.. others that spring to mind are Herrera, Matic, and of course probably most notably: Paul Pogba.

Sound familiar, @ManUtd? pic.twitter.com/Nxxn3uqBFg

— SOCCER.COM (@soccerdotcom) March 8, 2019
Pogba at his best
The Frenchman is arguably one of main reasons Mourinho lost his job. “PP6” is obviously key to the plans for the future of United, and the 25 years old, 2018 World Cup Winner, would probably have been looking to exit United if the club hadn’t parted company with Mourinho.
Since Solskjaer’s arrival, we’ve seen a more consistent Pogba delivering 8 Goals and 6 assists from centeral midfield, looking more and more like the player that was expected when he arrived at Old Trafford a couple of Summers ago. He seems focused and confident, working harder for the team to accompany his undoubted talent. Positionally he’s always been somewhat of a conundrum to accommodate, but Solskjaer seems to have answered that question too, deploying Pogba slightly to the left of Matic and Herrera (or whoever is in the United midfield) with a free reign.
Powerful, fast, a great long or short range passer, skillful, and a player that can score from midfield.. he’s the type of World Class midfielder United had been used to in Solskjaer's United era. So it’s no coincidence we’re seeing the best of him now.
Paul Pogba under Mourinho and Solskjaer
Playing the United Way
Remember the United teams of old? Giggs, Beckham, Scholes, Ronaldo, Rooney, Van Nistelrooy.. were those players asked to play in a pragmatic “keep it tight” system? No, they were encouraged to go out and take games by the scruff of the neck, and tactically they were made aware of opposition weaknesses to exploit, by the genius that was Sir Alex. In a nutshell, these ethics are the one as Solskjaer has reinstated at United.
Lukaku is back in confidence, Pogba expressive and getting into the box, Rashford direct and shooting on sight, Martial committing his man every time he gets the ball, quality delivery into the box from Shaw, Young and Dalot from wide areas too.. this isn’t a coincidence. Ole has reintroduced an ethos that provided so many years of success as a player under Sir Alex, one with attacking freedom. And the players have reacted perfectly to it, bringing back the attractive identity we’ve seen from so many United teams of old.

"We played with two up top against PSG, and Rom and Rashy might form a very nice partnership together, the two of them," says Ole. "I wouldn't like to be a defender having them two running at me." #MUFC pic.twitter.com/xokMQ5lJH3

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 8, 2019
Fans back on side
“Ole's at the wheel, Tell me how does it feel..”
It was obvious that Solskjaer would be a popular choice to see out the season, but few fans predicted how much they’d grow to love him in just under 3 months, or even want him to stay past May. But Solskjaer has come across so humbled to have the job, a major contrast to the departed Mourinho, which the Old Trafford faithful certainly appreciate.
Let’s be honest, this was a Win-Win situation for Ole though. He couldn’t make things worse, and any small progress from when he took over in December until the end of the season would have been welcomed with open arms at the time. But what he’s done has exceeded everyone’s expectations, and the former “Super Sub” on the pitch has certainly restored the crowds faith off it. There would be uproar in the stands if he wasn’t to get the job on a full time basis now.

"We've gone through to the quarter-finals which is what we sometimes expect at Manchester United," Ole says. "Those celebrations just happen when you win a game at the end like we did. But now we've got Arsenal — a fantastic game to get ourselves ready for again." #MUFC pic.twitter.com/UlSwY1U4Hj

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 8, 2019
Stuck by the youth
What has gone slightly under the radar with Solskjaer is how much he’s backed the youth he has available to him, and not played the big name stars that he’s probably more pressured to play. Two examples that spring to mind are McTominay and Pereira.
Given the pedigree/price of the likes of Alexis Sanchez & Fred to name the best examples, it would have been easy for Ole to start both of them ahead of the younger players, but he’s done what’s best for the team. McTominay and Pereira have been great in the last couple of weeks, and we’ve even seen the likes of the up and coming Tahith Chong, James Garner, Angel Gomes and Mason feature during the last few weeks.
Again, I’ll refer back to Solskjaer's time at Old Trafford where the youth academy was trusted and produced one of the finest generations of British players in recent times, arguably ever. And to be fair it’s something the club has been able to continue to do over the years, with Rashford and Lingard being the best examples of recent seasons, so personally I admire Solskjaer for continuing this.
AUTHOR: Daniel Cox
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