It’s safe to say that Solskjaer has been a vast improvement on former Manchester United boss, Jose Mourinho. Despite the baby-faced manager’s impressive record since taking over, recent performances have raised questions over the United legend.
Prior to Ole’s arrival, United’s season looked to be all but over. The Red Devils were way off the pace of those ahead of them in the Premier League and progression beyond the Champions League Round of 16 looked extremely unlikely.
The fact that United have gone beyond expectation is greatly testament to changes their new hero has made. The feel-good factor has returned to Old Trafford, something which was certainly missing during Mourinho’s reign. It was blatantly obvious that the players were restricted by the Special One’s style; the likes of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku all displaying the difference a little freedom and confidence can make since his departure.
Improved performances have led to impressive victories for Solskjaer, results of which have contributed to his side still having a realistic chance of achieving a top four spot. It’s been a similar story when it comes to the Champions League. Defeating French giants, PSG, was always going to be a big ask. And when they found themselves 2-0 down following the first leg, a miracle was required. Nonetheless, Solskjaer’s makeshift lineup pulled it off.
A few disappointing defeats make it easy to forget any accomplishment, no matter how great it may be. Solskjaer’s achievements have just earned him a three-year deal with the club. But losses against Arsenal, Wolves and Barcelona have left some fans with doubts as to whether this was the right decision from the board.
Yes, opponents do seem to have come to terms with Solskjaer’s style over the last few games, but this isn’t as big a deal as some might think. It’s always going to be difficult for Solskjaer to make any significant improvements before the end of the season. He’s been unable to make any new acquisitions to his squad as of yet. United are lacking in a few positions but Solskjaer has already made a vast improvement even with the same group of players as Mourinho. Now that his future has been decided, it’s likely he will be well backed by the club’s owners in the summer. This could provide Solskjaer with the chance to snap up the players he needs to really strengthen the side. The addition of a solid centre half would be a huge step forward in itself.
Overall, Solskjaer has almost performed too well this early on in his tenure. His long unbeaten run has set high expectations for the future. So much so, in fact, that a few shaky displays are already seeing the optimism of some fans rapidly depart. Ole has brought back some positivity but he can only do one thing at a time. Some quality in the transfer window will be his next aim. Supporters shouldn’t be so quick to make judgements; Sir Alex would have something to say about that.