So we’re a month away from the new Premier League season. Manchester United has already signed two young and talented players in Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka with more signings to come. However, when we turn our attention to our manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who all United fans love for his service to club in the past then that’s a different story.
Now last season, Ole was the media darling and all the fans loved him when after he first arrived United went on winning streak. In fact under Solskjaer United won 14 of their 19 matches last season. Then everything fell apart suddenly when we lost against Wolves in the FA Cup at the Molineux stadium. The Red Devils lost to Wolves 2-1 in the FA Cup on March 16th.
Then we won at home against Watford 2-1 in the league. After that United lost 2-1 again at Wolves on April 2. The team would go on to lose almost every game for the rest of the season. We had a few wins and draws but we were abysmal. A big part of our loses was that I believe the players and the manager maybe got carried away with the winning streak. But our players lost that pride, passion, drive and determination to win also.
Ole I believe certainly made some mistakes tactically that costed us big time in some of these games. His selection of the players to me wasn’t the problem. Ole couldn’t seem to get his players to perform with the right attitude towards each game. Our players didn’t play the “real United way” by attacking teams from the start.
In each of these games the players lacked any real energy and self-belief that we could win these games. We didn’t play with any kind of purpose. You saw that especially when our players didn’t take the initiative to pass the ball forward, but instead we passed it backwards and side to side. The final pass was lacking, and we didn’t close down players before they would shoot. The midfielders didn’t fight in the middle of the park for balls against the opposition. We didn’t even win 50-50 balls.
Many times United would sit back deep and defend against their opponents. All that did for us was that the other team gained more possession, and we just placed more pressure on ourselves. You saw this in almost every game that we played especially in beginning with that FA Cup loss to Wolves.
So to me it seemed like Ole instructed the team to sit back and defend and then look to score on the counter-attack. Whatever Ole instructed of his players to do I believe they did that. Because there was a very big difference in the team that was winning games easily and the one that lost games and or struggled to win them.
It seems as though there was a shift in the manager’s philosophy in his tactics and his planning and preparation towards games. There was a rumour that came out that when Ole first arrived he realized that the players weren’t properly fit. So Ole tried to raise their fitness levels by using more rigorous training for the next few weeks. But then later on in the season that backfired. The player’s bodies rejected all of that rigorous training and then that’s when you saw the negative results.
But, whatever the the reasons were for the team’s downfall Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can’t afford to make the same mistakes again or else he’ll become unemployed very quickly.