Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be looking relaxed and happy after defeating Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the Manchester derby. Ole’s Manchester United have defeated Jose Mourinho Tottenham, and Pep Guardiola’s Man City in the space of 3 days is a magnificent feat he has achieved. Considering this week looked to be the beginning of greater things to come for the Norwegian. He was under severe pressure prior to these games because of the bad results he had against Sheffield United and Aston Villa, these teams are newly-promoted sides. This back to back wins has brought some relief and excitement to the Coach, players, the club, and the supporters at large. Man United are now fifth and are five points behind Chelsea.
Ole gets tactics right against top-six clubs
Ole’s tactical acumen has been called into question, but in games against the big sides, he has outfought them. Since taking charge at Old Trafford, Ole has overseen 13 games against the big six and has won seven, drawn four and lost only two and his side has scored 19 goals and conceded 11, which is very magnificent on his part. This season he has won four and drawn two, winning against Man City, Tottenham, Chelsea, Leicester City, and drawing against Liverpool and Arsenal accumulating 14 points out of a possible 18 points. Against Liverpool, he switched to the 3-5-2 formation where Marcus Rashford and Daniel James have given Liverpool defense a run for their money. One secret weapon working for Ole against the big teams is counter-attacking football. They normally sit back and catch them on the counter-attack. Any time Man United are in possession of the ball in their own half, the first thought is to move the ball fast and forward. This counter-attacking style suits the likes of Rashford, Martial, James, and Lingard because of their blistering pace. Man United is the only team to take a point from Liverpool so far this season.
Rashford and Fred return to form
Marcus Rashford has now grown in confidence and has 10 goals currently in the premier league for Man United. He has the tools to be the talisman of this team. Fred is starting to enjoy being part of the team; he once again stood tall, providing leadership and a driving force from the middle of the pitch. His interceptions and tackles broke up Tottenham and Man City attacking momentum and gave Man United the chance to clear their lines. Scott Mc Tominay’s return has breathed new life and energy into the midfield he is arguably Man united the best midfielder so far this season. Daniel James has been a revelation so far this season for United with his blistering pace and character is pushing defenders into uncomfortable areas. Another player who is doing something good this season is Anthony Martial. He has really helped Marcus Rashford to regain his form, and their link-up play has been fantastic since he returned from injury. Aaron Wan Bissaka and Harry Maguire have settled in perfectly for United, Wan Bissaka coped superbly with Son and Sterling against Tottenham and Man City respectively whiles Maguire impact on the defense has seen Man United defend very well, he is a leader no wonder he captains the team in the absence of Ashley Young. Man United player’s needs to be consistent with their form in order for them to secure a top-four finish.
What next for Ole and Man United?
Ole is having an impressive run against the big teams in the premier league, but his record against the lower teams is poor. Man United have lost four and drawn six so far this season against the lower teams. Losing to teams like Newcastle, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Bournemouth. These is teams that are struggling to find their feet this season. Man United next game is against Everton the Toffees on Sunday, this is an Everton team which is struggling this season and have even sacked their coach due to bad results they’ve been having. On paper, this game looks like a David and Goliath affair but this is an Everton side beating Chelsea by 3 goals to 1 under interim boss Duncan Ferguson last Saturday. Man United should be careful of this game because the Everton team looks like a banana skin. Ole needs to work on the mentality and psyche of his players because the premier league is very difficult.