Since he put his feet into the shoes of caretaker for Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is relishing the best start to the year in his career after the four consecutive wins. The former striker has been a goal machine after his side bagged as many as 14 Premier League goals from just four games.
Red Devils were flopping game after game but when they lost 3-1 at Anfield on December 16, it was the last straw for the vice-chairman Ed Woodward to send Mourinho away.
Million dollar imports, including Paul Pogba had regular bust-ups with the Portuguese coach. The World Cup winning Frenchman was benched for the rest of his last games after the fall out with Mourinho.
Despite the pacing up with the momentum of winning on the rider seat, United are still at the sixth place, 16 points behind the leaders Liverpool. They need to strap the belt for each and every remaining game of the season.
Unlike the former boss Jose Mourinho, who has strict rules on and off the field, the Baby-Faced Assassin is a charm at the Old Trafford and a motivator for many. As soon as he stepped in, the 45-year-old Norwegian played his part as the messiah to pull the 13-time champions out of the muck.
Red Devils, under the charge of Solskjaer, suddenly came back to life. The atmosphere is bright and beautiful. Fans are happy. Credits are pouring in. Reviews are far more positive than Mourinho’s era.
Not surprisingly, many back Solskjaer to become the permanent coach for the club, while some are still batting for Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino as the best possible choice.
However, there is no lack of criticism about the players’ sudden changed behavior.
After the exit of the Portuguese, football pundit and former Arsenal star Paul Merson, who hailed Mourinho as the “best manager in the world” slammed the United stars for their “unprofessionalism”.
Defending the Special One, who won Community Shield, League Cup, and Europa League during his two and a half seasons, Merson questioned the motives of United players and their behavior.
“I would be ashamed. All of a sudden Solskjaer is 100 times better than Jose Mourinho as a manager?
He dubbed the U-turn of the situation “pathetic” and “joke”.
Is Merson right about those dismal players or have been just another grocery gumshoe?
Well, looking back at Solskjaer managerial career, we saw a big loophole in the past. Despite his successful stint with his home side Molde, he is one of the worst in English football. He departed Cardiff City on September 18, 2024 after the club’s poor run of form since his takeover.
So what could be the reason behind the United player’s comeback?
The answer is here on our plain sight. Manchester United, with or without Solskjaer, had a motive – NOT to perform under Mourinho. It is not because they can’t run with him, but they just won’t run with him. They were ready to give their best under any sponge bob coach.
Football is a game of winning and losing, but winning together with coach as a whole, as a team tells a different story. It’s not about “people go to the game, people play the game, people win and lose”, it’s all about being together as a team for a special event.