How much can change at Manchester United now that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the permanent manager?

The appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaercame as no surprise to many supporters of Manchester United. However, at the same time, supporters also had to breathe a sigh of relief as the debate between fans which seemed to circulate between Solskjaer and also around the rumours of Mauricio Pochettinoalso being on the shortlist of the United board and Ed Woodward were put to rest. 

Given the performance of Manchester United since Solskjaer took over, it had become apparent for some time that Solskjaer would be given the job. Even when there were struggles it still wasn’t the manager that was criticised by fans and press, especially in the case of Alexis Sanchez, who has really brought negative attention upon himself with his stretch of poor performances.

It almost draws the question that if there were any truth to the rumoursthat United player’s had been intentionally struggling to get Jose Mourinho out, has that plan has definitely backfired on the players?

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Since Solskjaer assumed the role of caretaker manager back in December, he was on the hot seat as the board had begun to consider their options for the job. Now that he has that role on a permanent basis the players now have to prove that none of them were also part of the problem that led to United’s struggles. 

Solskjaer said in his initial press conferenceafter being confirmed as manager that; “Players who get complacent never last at this club and managers are same.” While this does serve as a reminder to himself it can also be seen as a statement to the players as well, reminding them that Solskjaer will be making the changes he needs to make, as he sees fit. 

The coaching staff that Solskjaer brought into United is essentially a reunion of veteran members of the club, and as far as Solskjaer is concerned, he plans to keep it the same for the foreseeable future. Regarding the coaching staff in his press conference, Solskjaer said, “I have voiced my opinion and hope the set up will continue as the staff we have work.” Solskjaer also went on to say, “I’m not looking to make any changes there so hopefully, it will be the same.” 

The combination of Solskjaer, Michael Carrick, and Mike Phelan on the coaching staff, as well as Sir Alex Ferguson on the board has the potential of bringing back the old philosophies that Sir Alex Ferguson used when he was managing the club, and creating the legacy that he did. These veterans know what it means to wear the Manchester United badge, and they are also fully aware of the high standards that United fans hold all members of the club to. 

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The big thing that will bring joy to the supporters is the change in mentality that Solskjaer has brought to United, and this will hopefully become contagious over the next season or two. Solskjaer has returned to Manchester to win the Premier League. Solskjaer said to the press; “To lift the Premier League trophy is what we expect, what we’re used to, what we have done so many times.” This sure to Reinvigorate the hopes of fans, who were stuck with Jose Mourinho’s negativityfor two and a half years.

However, Solskjaer also continued by reminding fans that success was not going to be instant now that he’s staying. He stated; “It’s not like it’s going to happen overnight, catching fifteen, sixteen, seventeen points on the top teams. I know we will be successful, but it’s about taking it step by step.” The newly confirmed manager will certainly be busy molding the club to his format, and does have his work cut out for him. 

While it does seem that the manager’s priorities are in order, the ball now falls into the court of Ed Woodward, who will be tasked with obtaining Solskjaer’s transfer targets, as well as potentially off-loading some of the players that Solskjaer does not feel will fit in with the club in its rebuilding phase. The summer transfer window will be the strongest indication so far of how much the priorities of Woodward and the Glazer’s will match those of Solskjaer’s.

Written by Joel Dulka

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