Flexibility: Solskjaer’s greatest tactical strength.

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under tremendous pressure from the outside to turn a disastrous start around. CEO Ed Woodward has given his 100% backing to the United manager. In this article, we look into why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has used a fixed way of play, also undermining of the key facets, FLEXIBILITY.

THE INTERIM DAYS

As we all know, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed Manchester United interim manager on December 19, 2018. The club said it was an interim appointment and a thorough process would be under taken to anoint Jose Mourinho’s successor.

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Solskjaer’s United early day successes were because of his tactical flexibilty

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was thought to have been bought into steady the ship with his positive attitude. He always spoke the right things about the club. But, what stunned everyone was his tactical and flexibility to add to it.

He started with a basic 4-3-3 against Cardiff City. But, the games where his tactical flexibility where there to be seen and was extremely successful were against PSG (away), Chelsea and Arsenal in the cup. Brave tactical decisions in these games were taken with easiness and implemented with ease as Manchester United “TACTICALLY” dominates these games.

PERMANENT APPOINTMENT

That night in Paris basically took Solskjaer into the permanent hotseat as he was appointed on a permanent basis a couple of weeks later. Since then, he looked to shape the team up on a long term plan, where he wanted to implement a style of play on a particular formation.

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The peak of Solskjaer’s short United career came at Paris where his tactical prowess was on full show.

This is where, I personally believe, Solskjaer lost his flexibility. His urge to build a Manchester United side in a way he wanted to. Nothing wrong in his ideas and vision. They are quite perfect. But, also, football isn’t basically a long term game anymore. A long term plan needs it’s short term gains as well.

Solskjaer, with his views in mind, thought he had to set United up in a certain way and it has seen them win 5 wins in 24 games. This is the worst ever run in the Premier League era for the 13 time Champion.

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Since Paris and his permanent appointment, Ole has been very ordinary tactically.

Again, as said before, no problem in a vision for United. But, the short term cannot be ignored on the whole. Solskjaer’s flexibility was his major strength during his 15 game unbeaten run. His lack of the same is the reason for an absurd run.

His 4-2-3-1 needs the best in class wingers, best in class midfielders, one best in class No.10 or an advanced midfielder – Everything that United lack at the moment. That’s basically the start of the problems. Ole’s different formations would have given more points and a platform for the long term plan.

RECENT LIVERPOOL GAME BEST EXAMPLE OF FLEXIBILTY

For the first time this season, Ole was flexible. And this was possibly the best performance this season. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson where nullified by over crowding in the wider areas.

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The Liverpool performance shows Ole can still throw on tactical surprises.

Such tactical nouse will only help United to settle things down and move up the table. That is when United need to have a fixed formation and a plan to attack the market with CL football.

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