Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s already shown his management blueprint is the opposite to Jose Mourinho and it’s already making a difference. Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling, the list of players publicly criticised by Jose Mourinho during his time at Manchester United goes on.
It was a speciality of the Portuguese’s management, not just one reserved for when he took over at Old Trafford, a tried-and-tested method that had worked for him during his times at Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona. And to some extent it worked at Old Trafford. After initially having the opposite effect on Shaw, the left back found his form under Mourinho at the start of this season having been publicly berated by Mourinho on numerous occasions.
There were reports that the team were annoyed at Mourinho’s treatment of Shaw in particular believing he was ‘bullying’ the left back. All of this added to the tense dressing room environment that led to his dismissal last month. Plenty has changed at United in the three weeks since Mourinho left.
Some are obvious, the style of play, the results and the mood of the players but it’s small, subtle differences that Solskjaer is making that could have the biggest impact on United’s results.
After the win against Spurs Solskjaer was clearly in a jubilant mood but what was evident was that he name checked every single one of his players.
It would have been very easy to concentrate on David De Gea’s world class heroics which won United the game or praise Paul Pogba after his pinpoint pass which allowed Marcus Rashford to score the winner. However, United’s caretaker manager praised every single player in his team by name, and it won’t have been a mistake. It’s the small detail like that which will enable him to continue to have the backing of the dressing room.
According to reports, Manchester United are looking to sell Marcos Rojo as they prepare to make a move Kalidou Koulibaly. Jose Mourinho wanted a centre back in the summer transfer window and a defender remains top of United’s target list despite the Portuguese’s departure.
However, with five central defenders currently in the squad United will be looking to sell in order to make room for any impending transfers and Rojo is set to be the first one to go, according to a report in The Telegraph. The Argentine has had an injury plagued season playing just 149 minutes this season and last played against Valencia on December 12.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed the defender has returned to Argentina after picking up yet another injury and his injury issues have complicated the prospect of selling him this month, the report claims. However, it is likely United will part ways with the 28-year-old in the summer as they plan to bring in Napoli centre back Koulibaly.
The 27-year-old remains at the top of United’s transfer wish-list and the club would want to bring him in this month, according to the report, however, the Italian side have shown little in the way of negotiations so it’s likely United are going to have to hold on until the summer window.
In other departure news, Marouane Fellaini could be on his way out of the club as United are willing to listen offers for the Belgian. The Mirror report AC Milan, Porto and Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande have all identified Fellaini as a transfer target, with United said to want in the region of £15million for the versatile 31-year-old.
The Belgian has been linked with the United exit on a number of occasions and then there was the contract stand off last summer which resulted in him being made one of the highest players at the club. Solskjaer has only brought the Belgian on as a substitute twice in his six games in charge and he could become the first casualty of Solskjaer’s reign with United reportedly ready to listen to offers.
SAD NEWS for Man United as these 3 top strikers might not make it to Old Trafford ahead of Saturday’s clash
Manchester United could be without three players this Saturday for Brighton and Hove Albion’s trip to Old Trafford. Centre-back Chris Smalling was ruled out of United’s superb 1-0 win over Tottenham at Wembley with a foot injury. The 29-year old remains a doubt for this weekend’s fixture, too.
Alexis Sanchez was also forced to watch Sunday’s victory from the sidelines as he’s been struggling with an injury to his hamstring that was picked up in the FA Cup defeat of Reading.
The Chilean winger did travel with the rest of the squad for a warm weather training camp in Dubai and is expected to be back in training on Wednesday.
Sanchez could potentially return to the squad for Saturday’s game after only starting one game in the previous two months. Ole Gunner Solskjaer said: “Maybe on Wednesday he’ll be in full training. It’s just one of those blows. Maybe next week he could be involved.”
The Norwegian is still expected to be without Marcos Rojo for the visit of the Seagulls, though.
Rojo has been beset by injuries throughout his time at United and the centre-back returned to Argentina to focus on his recovery in his homeland but is now back at Carrington.
Solskjaer said previously: “He’s gone back to Argentina for a while with his injury. For him, it’s mentally important for him to get away and come back fresh again.” The centre-back hasn’t appeared in a United shirt since the 2-1 defeat to Valencia on December 12.
It’s quiet interesting that Man United manager have passed his first major test as the man in charge. However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has now given himself a new problem to contend with this weekend: expectation. It’s a welcome headache, created by the record-breaking start he’s made to life in the Old Trafford dugout, but for the first time under his stewardship United go into the game with Brighton this weekend with expectation on their shoulders.
It already feels like it’s a case of how many they win by rather than whether they win. Curiosity governed Solskjaer’s first few games in charge after replacing Jose Mourinho. Was this really a new dawn for United? After victory at Newcastle the game with Tottenham at Wembley was billed, repeatedly but rightly, as the first major test.
Now that has been passed, thanks to Marcus Rashford’s goal, the mood is changing quicker than anyone could have imagined. United are back in the chase for a top four place and playing with a swagger that is now going to start bringing a level of expectation with it. Having scored so freely in the early weeks of his reign, United have now won at Newcastle and Tottenham, keeping clean sheets in both games and continuing to look dangerous and quick in attack.
The fixture list is now more encouraging as well. The FA Cup fourth round tie at Arsenal will be another challenge but home Premier League games either side of that against Brighton and Burnley are fixtures that suddenly look very winnable. There is an expectation from all quarters that United will simply swot them aside and move on.
This is where the challenge has changed for Solskjaer. His start has been so good that, in a way, he’s increased the pressure on himself and his team. But the Norwegian and his coaching staff have given the impression of being able to thrive under that pressure, to create an environment the players can still enjoy, even if expectations are on the rise. It’s also a staff with experience of dealing with the expectation that comes with representing United, thanks to Solskjaer, Mike Phelan and Michael Carrick. That’s the challenge of being a manager. Behind every hurdle you jump there’s another one waiting to catch you out.
Man United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made a number of tactical tweaks after previously watching Jose Mourinho in action. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knew what was wrong at United before he even got the interim manager’s job last month. Tactically, at least.
The Norwegian was back at Old Trafford in October to watch United’s disappointing Champions League defeat to Juventus, when Jose Mourinho’s side were thoroughly outclassed. “We are far behind,” Mourinho admitted post-match but Solskjaer felt the 55-year-old was selling his side a little short with his reactive tactics on the big stage.
Solskjaer’s appearance at the Theatre of Dreams was only confirmed after Molde had a league fixture rearranged, which gave his side a nine-day gap between games. As well as extended period on the training ground, Solskjaer also gave his players some time off and used his own break to catch up with some old friends in Manchester. David May among them. ‘Still looking 23 years old #thebabyfacedassassin,’ the former United defender captioned a photo of the pair from the press conference room as they reminisced about ’99 and that semi-final win against the Bianconeri.
Park Ji-Sung and Patrice Evra were also there in the directors’ box to see Cristiano Ronaldo’s homecoming and the sense of occasion was palpable that night. United fans knew it was going to be a tough test, but this had all the makings of a classic Champions League tie.
Of course, the 1-0 defeat did not pan out that way. After 17 minutes, Juventus were ahead through Paulo Dybala and they finished the half with 70% possession and 10 shots on goal in an utterly dominant display. United improved after the break but never looked like finding the breakthrough and Mourinho did not feel anyone from his weakened bench could change the game. So he did not make a substitution. This was not the first time Solskjaer had watched Mourinho’s United live – he had previously taken in the 3-0 win against Stoke last season for example – but the same issues were rearing their head.
According to reports, United have joined the race to sign Roma winger Cengiz Under, 21, will not leave Serie A in January, contrary to reports, but an end-of-season exit is being prepared for by his representatives — something that suits Arsenal, Spurs and Bayern who are unlikely to invest this month.
United, who are without a permanent manager, are also unlikely to sign players in January although caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be consulted on potential moves. Solskjaer is set to remain at Old Trafford until the end of the season when, sources have told ESPN FC, United will target Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.
Roma have set a valuation on their star man in excess of €50 million and are unlikely to budge on their asking price as 25 percent of the fee will end up being paid to Under’s former club Istanbul Basaksehir. Roma are in no rush to make a decision over his future as Under is under contract until 2022.
The Turkey international is happy at Roma and committed to the club but he is one of the lowest paid members of the first-team, earning approximately €1m per-season. Negotiations over a new deal have hit an impasse with Under’s representatives and the club resigned to accept that an end of season transfer is the only solution.
Roma have been reluctant to offer a pay increase to Under and are instead prepared to cash in for a significant profit. Under joined Roma from Basaksehir for €13m move in the summer of 2017 which was a record transfer fee for a Turkish international player leaving the Super Lig. He has established himself as a first-team star in Serie A scoring 14 times and providing 10 assists in 55 appearances.
Under has netted six goals and provided eight assists in 23 games so far this season and recently was awarded Roma Young Player of the Year award.
Manchester United Paul Pogba also was not left out as the 10 year challenge continues to sweep the Internet. In other news, a former Manchester United star Teddy Sheringham has said that Paul Pogba would have cut it in Manchester United’s all-conquering treble team.
Sheringham has said that the stars of Sir Alex Ferguson’s most successful side would have got the best of out the mercurial Frenchman. Pogba has received widespread criticism since rejoining United from Juventus in 2016 for not living up to his undoubted ability. But Sheringham says the World Cup winner would have been at home in a midfield that contained Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and David Beckham – and that the senior stars of that side would have made sure he was focused on winning rather than showboating.
When asked if Pogba – rejuvenated under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – could have figured alongside the players who won the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in the same season, Sheringham told Stadium Astro: “I think he would because he is a very talented player.
“He would have been brought back down to earth at the right times when he’s… not stepping out of line, because you’re not stepping out of line, you’re just not doing the right things at the right times. That’s what made our team so good. We did all the right things at the right times. There’s a lot of players who do the wrong things constantly. You have to do the right things at the right times for you to be part of a team. “I think he would have been told by the senior members, ‘pass the ball. Stop showing how good you are. We play as a team’. The more you keep telling them, you hope that the penny drops. There’s always times to do that bit of flashness, to get you out of a problem on the football pitch, but not every time you get it.”
Man United goalkeeper David De Gea is reportedly ready to sign a new contract, but wants a significant increase on his wages. Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea is reportedly ready to commit his long term future to the club, but is waiting for an offer that would see his wages increase by 50 per cent.
The Daily Mail claim De Gea is keen to extend his stay at United, after a one year extension to his current stay was triggered earlier this season. But the report says that in order for De Gea to sign a new deal, he wants wages of over £300,000 including bonuses. That would see a 50 per cent increase from his current £200,000-a-week contract.
De Gea made 11 saves against Tottenham as United made it six wins out of six under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the Spaniard reminded bosses of his importance to the team.
The report also says Ander Herrera is confident of signing a new contract as negotiations continue. Meanwhile, former United youngster Ravel Morrison could be offered a return to British football with Rangers.
Once tipped as United’s next exciting graduate of the youth academy, Morrison’s career has taken him abroad to Lazio. But with only eight appearances there in three years, he has spent time on loan in Mexico at Atlas. But his recent social media activity has seen him follow the official Rangers Instagram account as well as boss Steven Gerrard and players Joe Worrall and Ryan Kent.
Man United next permanent manager is yet to be decided but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mauricio Pochettino are contenders. The majority of Manchester United fans want Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to get the manager’s job at Old Trafford on a permanent basis. Solskjaer passed his first major test as interim boss with flying colours on Sunday as he guided United to a 1-0 win away to title-challenging Tottenham.
And that win was enough to convince nearly two thirds of fans that he is worthy of a crack at the job full-time. MEN Sport asked fans who they think United’s next permanent manager should be out of Solskjaer, Mauricio Pochettino and Gareth Southgate – and 65% of the 5,709 responders plumped for Solskjaer, with Pochettino raking in just 32% of the vote.
Only 1% of fans said they want England boss Southgate to get the gig, while 2% reckon somebody other than Southgate, Pochettino or Southgate would be best-suited to the job. Pochettino vs Solskjaer was the biggest sub-plot of United’s win over Spurs at the weekend but the Argentine refused to discuss his tactical battle with his Norwegian adversary after the match.
“It was Tottenham against Manchester United,” Pochettino said. “I’m not going to talk about [a battle with Solskjaer].
“I’m not going to judge his tactics. I think, in the plan you have to play, it’s not ethical to talk about how he is doing or I am doing. You only can talk about the game. Today, to talk about the game, of course we were better. We dominated the game and we created more chances than them. In the second half, we created 11 shots on target, with 11 saves from the goalkeeper. It was a game and a battle between Tottenham and Manchester United, because if not, we would need to play him against me, one-versus-one on the pitch. Then the next game Fulham against [Claudio] Ranieri, then [Chelsea boss Maurizio] Sarri. OK, come on. That is football and it’s always about collective things.”