Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s (OGS) tenure as caretaker manager of Manchester United has got to a perfect start. 6 wins in 6 games has provided much needed boost to Manchester United’s campaign. This weekend’s win at Wembley against Spurs was supposed to be the toughest test of this Manchester United side. They passed it with flying colors. Here are my conclusions.
- DDG is the best. David De Gea was simply outstanding. He pulled off some amazing saves. There was some social media criticism about all those shots were directly at him. But as Ben Foster tweeted, he had to get his positioning spot on to ensure those shots were straight at him. Currently he is the best Keeper in the world. United need to sort out his contract and ensure he stays at club for next 10 seasons.
- Attackers are enjoying. Manchester United’s attacking players are now enjoying themselves. Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez and Lukaku are enjoying themselves while playing for new Boss. United are playing with better tempo, fast and fewer touch football. This has resulted in Manchester United playing quicker counter attacking football. Marcus Rashford’s goal was great example.
- United executed their plan. Ryan Giggs who was teammate of OGS during their great Manchester United side of 1990s and early 2000s was TV Pundit for the game. Giggs made very interesting observation about the way team played. United’s performance against Spurs was from Ferguson blue print. Take control of the game and score a goal. Then other team attacks in order to find equalizer and then counter with pace and score more. United tried their best to get the 2nd goal but couple of decent saves ensured they didn’t get that goal. United defended brilliantly. Lindelöf is getting better day by day. He marshaled United defense superbly. He needs a partner. Hopefully United can get someone either in January or for next season.
- OGS showed his tactical side. When United’s line-up was announced everybody was expecting Rashford playing through middle and Lingard on right. But the way United lined-up, Lingard was playing “False Number 9” and Rashford was on right wing. Rashford on right and Martial on left wing gave United pace to go behind Spurs defence. This also ensured Luke Shaw and Ashley Young didn’t have to go too far forward and offered enough protection at the back. When Rashford or Martial had ball in wide areas, Lingard, Pogba and others got into Spurs box and created problem for home side. United’s goal was brilliantly executed plan. Ole got his tactics spot on all through the game. He is getting things right. Each passing day, he is making his case for being United’s boss next season stronger.
- Mauricio Pochettino has been found out. Most media outlets have started a campaign to have Poch as next Manchester United manager. In my opinion, he is simply not good enough. For starters, he has got 0 trophies on his CV. To manage United, winning trophies is prerequisite. In last 30 years, only man who managed United without having won any trophies is David Moyes. Spurs have a good young squad. But Poch has not handled big egos in that Dressing room. If he joins Manchester United, would be able to deal with players like Paul Pogba in that dressing room? Honestly, I am not sure of that. Due to speculation about Poch to United, media had called game as audition for the job of next Manchester United manager. If that game was really an audition, Poch failed it very badly. OGS who has managed United for 6 games in about 3 weeks, outfoxed Poch with his tactical setup. Manchester United manager can’t be in that sort of position. They should be tactically astute.
- Hate is back. For most part of Sir Alex’s tenure, opposition fans hated Manchester United. When Fergie retired and David Moyes replaced him, that hate was gone and others had sympathy for United. When LvG replaced Moyes that sympathy was replaced with pity. During Jose’s first 2 seasons, hate had started to come back. Then when Jose had his 3rd season meltdown, things got comical and club had become a laughing stock. With OGS in charge, people have started to hate United again. When opposing fans hate you, it means things are going in right direction for sure!