Manchester United have had plenty of false dawns in the past and there’s no guarantee what they’re experiencing right now isn’t another but at least for the time being, it seems as though they’ve turned a corner. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s position is still uncertain but after the 2-0 loss to Burnley, the squad have responded magnificently and have put in some good performances. Manchester United stretched their unbeaten run to 11 matches following the 5-0 thrashing of LASK in the Round of 16 of the Europa League on Thursday.
Solskjaer has always recognized the job ahead of him was going to be a long one and it’s hard to criticize him too much, particularly given how every transfer decision he’s made so far has been the right one. In fairness to him, he couldn’t have bounced back in a better way, clawing his way back into the driving seat and potentially saving his job for good as of now.
Keeping aside his transfer decisions, another thing he has excelled at is getting good results out of players who wouldn’t be in form. The likes of Fred, Andreas Pereira, Chris Smalling, etc have started to shine under him. Smalling was loaned out to Serie A side Inter Milan last summer for a year and he has had a good season there. The United boss says the £52million Brazilian deserves huge credit for adapting to the demands of English football after his tough start. Besides the defensive cover, Fred gives his team-mates from midfield, there have been other notable individual improvements including left-back Luke Shaw who has responded well to the challenge set down by his younger rival Brandon Williams.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder has formed a formidable partnership with Scott McTominay this season and the influence of Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes has completed what looks like being Solskjaer's first-choice midfield in the absence of Paul Pogba. Solskjaer insists he never lost belief in Fred, who was the subject of much criticism and ridicule last season and puts his improvement down this season, in part, due to a better grasp of English and greater integration with his teammates. Eventually, the time invested has matured and returned in a good way where Fred is playing well.
Also, Ole’s investment in youngsters is a thing to applaud him for. Tahith Chong, Brandon Williams. Mason Greenwood and Angel Gomes all have had their share of playing time under Ole. Brandon Williams has already returned its benefits with he being in contention of the first team in most matches.