How Being A Substitute Has Helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer In Management
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer asked his players to be "the kids that love to play football" when he was appointed the caretaker manager of his former club, and they have duly delivered.
Solskjaer became the only manager in Manchester United history to win eight consecutive away games after a recent 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace, and the Norwegian will be looking to make it nine in a row when they face Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes tonight.
The Reds are without a host of first team players ahead of the Champions League tie, with the likes of Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba out through injury, but Rio Ferdinand thinks if United get an early goal in Paris then Thomas Tuchel's side could crumble under pressure.
"I think if Man United get an early goal then this PSG team will be under pressure" Ferdinand told SPORTbible.
"I think that the history they've had in this competition, the Barcelona game where they let a big lead slip, you can't tell me that won't be in the back of their minds if Manchester United score a goal and the fans in the stadium as well, so that will mount massive pressure."
Solskjaer's return to Old Trafford has been nothing short of remarkable.
United have picked up 32 points in 12 Premier League games under the 46-year-old, scoring 26 goals and conceding just nine, beating the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea along the way.
It is a record that showcases a phenomenal transformation since Jose Mourinho was sacked from his duties toward the end of last year, but did Ferdinand predict such a vast change in results under his former teammate? and was there a point where he thought Solskjaer would become a manager?
"Yeah, I think at the end of his career he had a good few injuries and he seemed to be becoming a student of the game. You could see him really take an interest in the coaching elements at the training ground, making notes on training methods. I did see that in him, towards the end of his career.
"He was on the bench a lot but he made impact when he came on, so that takes a level of intelligence to be able to do that, and to assess players, assess systems, before you go on, to really make that impact.
"That's something you'll need as a manager, and I'm sure he's got that in abundance, given what he done in his career. There are so many different elements that go towards making a good manager, it's never going to be down to just one or two things."
It now looks increasingly likely that club will reward Solskjaer's efforts with a permanent position after it was revealed that no other current manager or coach has been approached to discuss the position.
He's managed to get the best out of a number of players, including Paul Pogba. who was previously criticised for his attitude and application under Mourinho, and the form of Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, two players who encapsulate the club's philosophy of nurturing homegrown talent, has been highly encouraging.
Can he lead Manchester United to a famous victory in Paris tonight?
Let us know in the comments.
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