December 17th 2018. The day after arch rivals Liverpool smashed Manchester United. Manchester United’s twitter silence reflected the fanbase’s feelings. We as a fanbase were ashamed, angered by one manager and his players who didn’t care to turn up at Anfield of all places for Manchester United. When that happens, the endgame was always getting nearer.
Jose Mourinho was sacked the following day. The Portugese finished with a win rate of 58%, the second most of any Manchester United manager. There was relief in the fanbase. It was because it had become that toxic under one of the greatest manager of all time.
Relief to Positive Energy:
Tuesday morning, post the announcement Jose Mourinho was sacked, there were plenty of times doing the rounds with usual suspects Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane being touted as the favourites. Laurent Blanc and Antonio Conte, who were out of work were also speculated upon by the media. But, the club had planned on something short term and something very special.
A Club legend and the man responsible for one of the most famous moments in the history of United was chosen to become the Manchester United manager. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the man to succeed Jose Mourinho at Manchester United albeit on a short term contract until the end of the 2018-19 season.
We can confirm that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed as caretaker manager until the end of the 2018/19 season.
He will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach, together with Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna. #MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 19, 2018
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s words were more very encouraging and his emphasis on the Man United Way caught fans’ hearts sooner than expected. From what was supposed to be a week of uncertainty, it suddenly turned into full of positive energy with Solskjaer fully focussed on giving back the fans, ” THE UNITED WAY”, something which 3 previous manager’s failed to give the fans.
THE FIRST INTERVIEW
Solskjaer arrived in Manchester on late Wednesday night. The fans’ belief in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer skyrocketed after his first interview with club’s official app was aired on Thursday night. Some of the quotes in that interview not just gave the fans the belief, but, also a much needed boost for the players. He spoke he was coming into the club with the best squad in the world. He knew he didn’t but such are the words players get spurred on by.
Ole’s first game in charge of Man United was against a club he had managed before: CARDIFF CITY. Ole took his first of two training sessions on thursday before surprisingly attending the club’s christmas party which made him even more likeable to the players. On thursday upon coming to Carrington, Ole bought some Norwegian choclates to the receptionist who has been at the club for 50 years. A timely reminder of how a club should be like a family and how Manchester United was under Ferguson.
All this was positive. But, the cherry on top of the christmas cake was a 5-1 drubbing of Cardiff City. It was all about how United just ruthlessly annihilated Ole’s former club. It was free flowing, full of confidence, attacking football for the full 90 minutes with 75% possession and plenty of shots at goal. Manchester United played like a Manchester United team after a long, long time. Stamping their authority on an evening which could have easily been slippery.
The 3rd goal in the game for Manchester United scored by Anthony Martial would tell the past week’s story in a nutshell. Confident, positive movement with and off the ball with one touch passes and a sublime finish. MANCHESTER UNITED, that!!
A memorable evening for the new boss and his (HIS) new (NEW) assistant Mike Phelan, who was back at the club to assist Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rebuild a fallen giant.
THE ROAD AHEAD
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a relatively fast but easy start as Manchester United boss with 5 games in the space of 13 days. Thankfully for him, none are against the ” Big Six”. Cardiff will be followed by a home debut on Boxing day against Huddersfield Town and on 30th December, Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth come calling to Old Trafford. The new year fixture will be on 2nd January at St. James’ Park against Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United. FA cup action begins for Manchester United on 5th January against Championship Reading. That game finishes the busy but relatively easy start for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before the big litmus test against Tottenham at Wembley on the 13th of January. Amidst all this, The January transfer window will be open. If Ole can maintain the start he’s had at Man United, we could be in for a crazy 6 months which could result in a Top-4 finish.