According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United could appoint interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on a permanent basis this week. The decision would not be a surprise, but the timing may surprise some. Considering the way the Norwegian has galvanised the team it seems like a no-brainer for United chiefs, though.
United are actually worth watching again
United under former boss Jose Mourinho were a dull lifeless entity in the closing stages of the Portuguese’s time at Old Trafford. Some would say that were a lifeless entity for much of his reign.
However, Solskjaer’s appointment has made the Red Devils worth watching for the fans. It is strange how such an inexperienced boss at the highest level can come in and make more of an impact than Mourinho, who has won everything there is to win in football.
It is not Solskjaer’s managerial ability, which is yet to be proven, but his enthusiasm and man-management that has led to such a change in United’s fortunes. The players seem to like the former Molde boss and that affection has led to some very good results at Old Trafford since his appointment.
The Red Devils have now won 14 of their 19 games under Solskjaer, which is a respectable record for any boss.
Still has plenty to prove at United
On paper, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s managerial record does not suggest he would even get an interview for the United job. However, the Norwegian is only at the start of his managerial career.
The United hierarchy appointed Solskjaer because he knew and loved the club. Manchester United were losing their identity as a team. The methodical football played by Mourinho was not what Red Devils fans were accustomed to their team playing.
United were not always easy on the eye to watch under the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, but more often than not they were. The Scot knew when pragmatism was needed. He also knew what the fans wanted and his team played in an attacking manner for much of his reign.
Solskjaer has taken over a squad full of forward-thinking players. These players were not comfortable playing Mourinho’s style of football. The fact that the likes of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and most recently Romelu Lukaku have come to life under shows that Solskjaer has something about him.
However, the big challenge will be when the Norwegian signs that permanent deal. Suddenly he is no longer just a stop-gap and the pressure is on for him to deliver success. It will be a major test of boss, who still has a lot to prove, despite his early success.
Eying a top-four finish
When Solskjaer arrived at the club, a top-four finish looked like an unreachable goal for this season. However, the Red Devils are now just two points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal in the race for a Champions League spot.
United are now odds of 5/4 to finish in the top four this season. Those odds make Solskjaer’s team fifth favourites to make the top four.
Finishing in the Premier League top-four would be an unbelievable achievement for the 46-year-old. Even if United does not quite make the Champions League spots this season the team have shown enough in their performances under Solskjaer to suggest they are on the right track.
Manchester United could have gone down the road of appointing a more experienced boss this summer. However, maybe Solskjaer may just be the right man in the right place to restore the glory back to Manchester United.
Will Ole Gunnar Solskjaer be a successful full-time Manchester United boss?
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