what has changed with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer



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For a day, it looked like a good draw. On December 17th, around 12.20, PSG discovered their opponent in the last 16 of the Champions League: Manchester United. An adversary in a deplorable state, the one in which Jose Mourinho had plunged him into an atmosphere of an end to reign. And that reign, precisely, was interrupted the following day by the Mancunian leaders. December 18, the announcement fell, Mourinho was fired. On December 19, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a former Red Devils striker, was appointed interim coach. Since that day, MU crushes everything in its path. Except a 2-2 against Burnley at home (and again, showed a mental strength with two goals scored at the end of the game to snatch the tie), the Mancunians won everything. They were dying, they are full of confidence before entering the game against PSG at Old Trafford next Tuesday. How Ole Gunnar Solskjaer transformed this team?

First, the psychological shock. For many, Solskjaer is a foreigner in spite of himself. After Mourinho, regardless of the identity of the coach who would land, he would have found a group of players relieved by the departure of Special One. But we will not accept the credit of the Norwegian. Because, somewhat like Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, the goodness of the Norwegian has clearly been a trump card. After the coldness of Mourinho and his way of pressing his men, Solskjaer defended a positive management. "My belief is to trust the players, believe in your ability to play well, try to dominate the opponent, win the right way, play as currently in Manchester United", he recently confided in an interview with SkySports. For that, he relies heavily on his team, a mix between Mourinho's (Michael Carrick, Kieran McKenna and Emilio Alvarez) and two former MU players and coaches (Mike Phelan and Mark Dempsey).

Solskjaer liked the way Sir Alex Ferguson talked to the players. So he applies the same recipe. "I like individual interviews, but it's not just me. It's Kieran (McKenna), it's Michael (Carrick), it's Mark (Dempsey), Mike (Phelan), Emilio We have a lot of players to talk to, and there are not many who can teach David de Gea things about goalkeeping work that he still does not know. " The first success of Solskjaer was thus to decide with the dictatorial modes of a Jose Mourinho. An amiable personality, the Norwegian multiplied the discussions with his team and his players. To animate them and then release them.

All through the attack …

Was the Mourinho style considered too defensive and liberticidal? Of any. Solskjaer asked to go, trying to imbue his players with the culture of the club as he had known. "It's easier for me because I know the DNA and identity of the club and what it's like to be a Manchester United player, that identity is a winning mentality, it's trusting, wanting to take risks, attacking to score the second, third and fourth goals because that's how things are for MU.If you do not understand it here, then you're in the wrong club. "he explains. "We should never forget our history of attacking players, although we like to dominate the game, we must always play with speed and power. So simple and obvious how good to remember.

The calendar helps you in your task with a trip to the modest Cardiff grass. Result: 5-1 with a Pogba-Martial-Rashford-Lingard offensive quartet doing wonders. Bournemouth, Newcastle and Reading (FA Cup) follow. It is not really terrors and MU can calmly continue his change, at the same time as Solskjaer refines his tactical scheme. He ranges from 4-3-3, with Pogba in the middle relay of the torch, and 4-2-3-1 with Pogba placed in the game keeper. Rashford becomes the number 1 pick on the axis of the attack with Marcial and Lingard to liven up the wings. But as a former super club, Solskjaer manages to keep the big losers Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez at bay. After this series of 4 games win against relative adversity, Solskjaer takes his whole small world to a fast phase in Dubai (of which Pogba does not participate). The next program is more formidable, with a trip to Tottenham in the Premier League and Arsenal in the FA Cup.

… but not only

This is where the Solskjaer style differs from Mourinho again. During the internship, in addition to the great freedom he gives players, who do well, showing a deep respect and a total listening, he does not hesitate to ask his band how they want to play against Tottenham, and more globally against the bigger ones announced teams (including PSG). From these discussions, the tactics used against the Spurs, more defensive, with extreme concentration in the substitution arise, and with a clinical coldness in the form of conducting the counters. How the newspaper explains Manchester Evening News, players fully adhere to the management of their coach, who interprets the tradition of the card. Example speaking to the returned image: completed training arrivals at the stadium instead of blazers in Mancunian colors.

Transcribed by the club's culture, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has an almost perfect record, less than a week of shock against Paris Saint-Germain. While he has won only 9 games in 30 during his visit to Cardiff in 2014 (in the Premier League), he still has not lost a single match (of 10 competitions). Under him, Manchester score 2.5 goals on average in the Premier League, receive only 0.8 and, compared to the era of Mourinho, players create more opportunities and provide more sprints. Solskjaer not only increased morale. He picked up all the statistics. PSG is warned.

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