Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was recently announced as the caretaker manager for Manchester United as Jose Mourinho was relieved of his duties. Solkjaer is a club legend and will instantly raise the spirits of the club who need this after months of unrest. The great super sub in United’s history has a decent pedigree as a manager as well. As manager of the Manchester United Reserve side, Molde and Cardiff he has a total of almost 10 years of eexperience.
Style of play
In the league and the Europa League, he was seen employing different formations depending on his opponents. His side can also play different styles of football which shows his adaptability. His Molde side has been seen playing a defensive style of football but also keeping hold of the ball and building from the back.
His Molde side over his two tenures has had an average age of just over 22. He is no stranger to his side being torn apart by elite clubs from around Europe. He has promoted from within and kept the club from falling off. He has always managed to promote from within and give talented young players the opportunity to grow to achieve their potential.
As a manager of Molde, a Norwegian side back in his homeland, he won the top flight twice in his first two seasons. In his second title win, his side ended with an impressive points tally of 62 in just 30 games.
This is something that will get Manchester United fans excited as the likes of Chong, Greenwood and Gomes are all on the fringes of the side waiting to light up Old Trafford. Over this season if he is able to get these budding stars minutes here and there, help them make the step up from youth football to top flight football, it would make the job of the next manager much simpler.
Formations We Can Expect
Solskjaer usually plays one of the following three formations. A 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 or a 4-5-1. He likes his sides building from the back and hence needs ball playing defenders. Fullbacks go high up and complement the wingers. A fluid frontline is something we can expect.
The ‘babyface assassin’ could get the best out of Pogba and bring back exciting and expansive back to the red half of Manchester. A 4-2-3-1 setup with de Gea in goal. Shaw and Dalot as fullbacks with Lindelof and Smalling or Bailly at centre back.
Pogba could partner Herrera in the middle of the park with Mata as the creative player. Rashford down the left, Martial or Lingard down the right with Lukaku as the main striker.
Lukaku would benefit a lot from this system as the likes of Pogba, Mata and Lingard could put-in accurate balls for him to head in and play to his strengths. The presence of a creative no10 would ensure that he doesn’t get isolated as he did in Mourinho’s system.
Herrera and Pogba would be the perfect combination as the former would sit back and provide defensive cover and win back balls allowing Pogba to carry the ball forward and join the attack. Rashford, Martial and Lingard would all have the freedom to either cut in or stay wide and cross the ball in.
Defensively his sides usually press high up the field as soon as they lose the ball but fall back into a compact 4-4-1-1 formation, ready to break on the counter as soon as they win the ball back.
Expectations From His Tenure
Solskjaer’s appointment is one in the right direction. He seems keen on attacking and free-flowing football and promoting from within. Both of which the fans have been aching to watch. This would also give the club valuable time to reorganise the board and plan who the next manager should be, get in maybe a sporting director and good scouts.
Manchester United is at a crossroad at the moment. Three fairly unsuccessful managers in five years, the board in shambles and the dressing room falling out with every manager appointed. The club is definitely generating more revenue than ever and on the commercial side everything is perfect, but on the footballing side, they are falling behind of the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.
The Norwegian needs to steady the ship now, get everyone on board and instil pride in representing the badge. There is still time and if the squad really comes together, a top-four finish is not such a far-fetched idea.