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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - Anything but a PE teacher

Does it matter if a PE instructor, who has been chastised for having the sheer arrogance to come up with a winning plan, continues down a certain path and arrives at his destination?

DB
Last updated: 25.07.2021
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Anything but a PE teacher

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The Premier League is with no doubt the hardest in the country. It's also the wealthiest and most appealing to top-tier continental managers. For as long as I can recall, it has been the unanimous opinion of 99 per cent of the fans. That is before a regular Norwegian pulled off the incredible feat of leading a team of "over-rated" players to victory.

Would it create a racket if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it? Let me explain: does it matter if a PE instructor, who has been chastised for having the sheer arrogance to come up with a winning plan, continues down a certain path and arrives at his destination? Surprisingly, football fans, both at home and abroad, would have you think that the response is no. Publicizing hate and a distorted message in exchange for a torrent of comments, retweets, and internet fame has become the ‘new trend.' It grows a little bigger as ‘respected' ex-professionals want to openly disregard truth and figures in favour of blaming it on chance. However, much as bosses, it's likely that a fan is mistaken. The fabricated narrative is close to that of a man digging, building on my previous perspective on the modern debate. Unfortunately, most of these people should keep scratching and grinding to the sound of their drum.

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However, there's one aspect of this debate that irritates me. Many of these ‘fans,' ex-professionals, and football writers alike, express this idea, believing that Solskjaer's latest results are solely due to the talented squad he has on his hands. In the hands of Solskjaer, Molde won its first domestic title and went on to retain it. Now, this is in no way out of sheer luck.

Solskjaer, like Molde, needs United to flood both sides of the opposition's box and switch between a variety of complex one-twos and short passes. As every attacking transition fails, a switch to the reverse overload will invariably allow a new transformation to begin. United's counter-attack strategy is clear: they intend to combine reversed or out-broken runs from wide players with central attackers. The key aim of this move is to annoy and rattle the opposing defence by generating space with quick transitions and allowing an offensive outlet to score.

This tactic of Solskjaer has won United many a tough game in the last 2 and a half seasons. The real standout was the triumph at the Parc des Princes, in the Champions League group stage. He not only managed to neutralise two generational talents in Mbappe and Neymar, but he also switched to a back three and used high-flying wing-backs. The addition of Paul Pogba and allowing him to drive towards the opposition defence was a tactical masterclass.

Solskjaer has proved to be a technically astute manager among some of the game's best. He has, admittedly, run into several unwelcome stumbling blocks, which has caused a schism in the fan base. As is customary, it is then up to the boss to justify the decision.

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