Coach Ole Gunnar’s impact on Manchester United


Photo from stream

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as manager for Manchester United in December of 2018.

Matthew Chaves, Assistant Sports Editor

Manchester United changed its managerial role in December this past season by firing Jose Mourinho. By doing so, they chose the best way to move into the future and made an even better decision hiring former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Red Devils struggled throughout the beginning of the season, when led by Mourinho. They lost to teams like Brighton, West Ham, and even Derby County. For those who don’t actively follow the sport, United losing to these teams is similar to the Lakers losing to the Knicks. The results surprised most viewers.

Mourinho’s boys showed up from time to time. Some notable wins include beating Real Madrid in a 2-1 victory in the preseason and beating Juventus 2-1 in the Champions League. Victories like this make it sound like United wasn’t doing too badly. Other results spell out a different story.

United tied to Wolves, Valencia, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Southampton, and Arsenal. They lost 12 points due to a lack of hunger from the attacking half of the team. Some may argue in ties like Chelsea and Southampton, where the score was 2-2, that United was just unlucky. The argument is weakened when we realize the matches versus Valencia and Crystal Palace were goalless, while the match versus Wolves ended 1-1.

Time after time, the attacking side missed chances to score that were served up on a silver platter. I think this is because the team barely played attacking soccer anymore, which is what Manchester United is supposed to be all about.

Come Dec. 16,  it all went down hill for Mourinho’s defensive play style. Liverpool  took the three points over Manchester United, 3-1. Two days later, Mourinho was out and Solskjaer was in as interim manager.

Immediately, the team plays attacking football once more. The next three games were absolute shows to watch: 5-1 versus Cardiff City, 3-1 versus Huddersfield, and 4-1 versus Bournemouth, Manchester United taking the win even with a red card. There were once again unbelievable scenes from the Theatre of Dreams.

Over time, fans have seen the positive change that United have has gone through in all competitions. This is harder to see in the Premier League, where United  has only gone up one spot on the table since Mourinho’s time. However, in the Champions League, United continues to perform. They’ve defeated Paris Saint-Germain, a powerhouse in European soccer.

Barcelona is the next hurdle that the Reds face and it’s proving to be a tough one, as they’ve lost 1-0 to them at home. It will be a challenge as because Barcelona is known to play their best stylish, attack style  at home in Camp Nou.

I believe United is in good hands under Solskjaer, no matter what happens at the Camp Nou. United is looking more and more like the teams under former United coach Sir Alex Ferguson as time goes on, specifically in regards to attacking soccer and outscoring the opponent, which is what Manchester United is all about.