Thursday, September 19, 2019

Can Solskjaer get the best out of United’s attacking players?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 21 Dec 2018

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Manchester United fans may get to enjoy their visit to Cardiff City on Saturday evening, as they will be hoping that Jose Mourinho’s exit will mean some actual decent football being played by their team in Wales. The temporary appointment of United hero Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is designed to lift the mood and bring back some of the feel-good factor from Sir Alex Ferguson’s great teams.

Solskjaer’s managerial record is mixed, to say the least, as the Norwegian has been relatively successful in his homeland with Molde. However, his short stint in charge of Saturday’s opponents was nothing short of a disaster. It is slightly ironic that Solskjaer’s first game in charge of United is against the Bluebirds.

United have looked lacklustre in attack this season

Manchester United have a number of talented attacking players. The likes of Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial all have talent and have shown it in flashes during their United careers.

However, under Mourinho this season at least, the Red Devils attacking players have looked lacklustre and have struggled for consistency. Lukaku, in particular, has struggled for form of late, leading to the Belgian star finding himself benched at times this season.

Mourinho also reportedly fell out with Pogba, while Martial has been consistently linked with a move away from the Red Devils. The Frenchman has also stalled on signing a new deal with the men from Manchester.

The exit of Mourinho may just lead to an improvement in the form of the players who struggled under the stubborn Portuguese boss. Solskjaer has talked about the players having a clean slate and playing having to prove they are Manchester United players.

Solskjaer may reignite United’s attack

The Manchester United hierarchy obviously believes that Solskjaer has the attributes to help improve the style of play at Old Trafford. His parent team Molde apparently play attacking football, which is not surprising considering that the Norwegian spent so long playing in Ferguson’s attack-minded teams.

The new United boss has already stated that he will seek the advice of his former boss. However, Solskjaer will have his own managerial ideas and be keen to stamp his own personality on his new players.

The Norwegian was an outstanding finisher during his playing days, so he should have plenty of tips for the forward players at the club. Lukaku, who will miss the next few games through compassionate leave, may benefit from some tips on finishing and the pressures of being a United striker.

United the favourites to beat Cardiff

Manchester United are the favourites to beat Cardiff on Saturday at odds of 4/7. Even before Mourinho’s sacking the Red Devils would have been favourites to record a victory, despite their inconsistent form.

However, games like this are the sort of match that United could have very easily lost this season. On paper, it should be a comfortable win for United, but the Bluebirds will not be easy opponents.

The Welsh sides recent home record will give them hope of pulling off a surprise result. The Bluebirds have won four of their last five league games at the Cardiff City Stadium.

It will be interesting to see how the current group of players perform under Solskjaer in his short stint in charge at United. The Norwegian may not have had enough time yet to get his ideas across, but maybe in a few games time, we will see a different United.

Who knows, Solskjaer could just be the man to get United to play attacking football that does not bore people to tears.

Can Solskjaer get the best out of United’s attacking players?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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