Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can restore Manchester United to their glory days after bringing “attacking and enjoyable football” back to Old Trafford, says Jesper Olsen.
Following a successful caretaker period after December’s sacking of Jose Mourinho, Solskjaer signed a three-year deal to become United’s permanent manager last month.
United – who are sixth and fighting to qualify for next season’s Champions League – have not conquered England’s top flight since 2012-13, sacking David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Mourinho in their pursuit of glory.
When asked if club favourite Solskjaer can lead United back to the summit of English football, former Red Devils winger Olsen told Omnisport: “It’s the million-dollar question isn’t it?
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 2, 2019
“It’s a huge club as we all know. Expectations at these clubs are massive. The likes of Man City at the moment, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea are up there…it looks like we might not even make the top four this season.
“But he has certainly shown and set a different feeling around Old Trafford, the supporters and the club since he took over. Hopefully he can continue that.
“He hasn’t been in the top job for a long time but the changes are already there. They’re playing freer, a lot more attacking and enjoyable football, and that’s what United want. With 77,000 fans watching every home game, of course you want attacking football for a team like that.
“I hope he can. He seems to have settled in well. He is well known around the club. He’d done all the things that everybody would have liked to have done as a coach and done it as a player. I hope he succeeds.”
United won eight consecutive matches in all competitions after Solskjaer stepped in for Mourinho, before overseeing an incredible comeback against Paris Saint-Germain to reach the Champions League quarter-finals, where they will face Barcelona.
Solskjaer’s United went 12 games unbeaten in the Premier League, however, they have lost three of their past four fixtures to crash out of the FA Cup and see their top-four hopes hindered following Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Wolves.
The boss is already looking forward to our next challenge. #MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 4, 2019
“I think you have to make a decision. The players, the supporters and Solskjaer himself probably wanted to know what to do from here,” Olsen – who won the FA Cup with United in 1984-85 – said when asked if the club were hasty in appointing Solskjaer before the end of the season amid links with Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.
“Everybody is now settled and they can go into the end of the season knowing he will be there next term. I think it’s a good decision but I guess time will tell. However, you need time. We talk about managers, of course you need time to build your own team and bring in the players you want.
“You look at Liverpool, they seem to have now found their stride. I know it’s not in their own hands with Manchester City, but they have done all the steps and seem to be settled as a team.”
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