Manchester United’s journey has changed in a flash. Optimism was as high as it has been in years when Solskjaer’s was enjoying his first few weeks in charge of the club. He was breaking records and United were winning games again, while the key players such as Pogba looked reborn.
Fast forward another few weeks and United have lost six of their previous eight games, and it could get worse.
I was all for Ole to take the wheel but I always said that the real test would come after he had signed the deal. The beginning is always great for a new manager as the players see you as a breath of fresh air. You tweak a couple of things and give the belief to the players who need it the most. Your stars start firing again and from start to build momentum. Morale in the club shifts and everyone is happy again.
But then, when you sign on a permanent deal, you need to look at the bigger picture rather than just the road to the end of the season. The friendship changes and you become the manager that has to think about next season – how you can make the team better and who doesn’t add what you’re looking for.
This will be a tough for the players, and doesn’t always make for the friendliest atmosphere, but it’s often the best way of getting a reaction from the players who now realise the manager demands more. This can motivate a squad better than the manager with the arm around his players when it’s needed.
United are in a tight battle for a top-four finish so Solskjaer needs to get an instant reaction out of his players. He will also quickly find out who he can rely on next season, and I’m sure he will want to end the season on a high. #mmlove