After another game unbeaten as Manchester United caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken about how he has gone about lifting the mood around Old Trafford, to Sky Sports.
The hallmarks of Sir Alex Ferguson’s influence are all over Solskjaer’s methods, but he has of course modernised them to cope with the demands of football in 2019 and the qualities of United’s current squad.
Solskjaer’s respect for the club is evident in the way he talks in such glowing terms about the counter-attacking traditions put in place by Ferguson, revealing he went back 20 years to show his players how United have beaten Arsenal on the counter attack in days gone by before last month’s 3-1 FA Cup win.
The Norwegian has told of how he wants to embolden his players to make their own decisions, adapt to the situation of the match and keep pushing for more goals even when they’re in the lead; all of which were hallmarks of Ferguson’s approach.
And perhaps the most direct comparison is how Solskjaer has apparently attempted to plan his teams ahead for the month like Ferguson used to – with huge games against PSG, Chelsea and Liverpool to come before the start of March.
There are other hallmarks of Ferguson’s in Solskjaer’s methods; his willingness to delegate to his coaching staff and his emphasis on the personality of the United players to embrace pressure and attacking football – but it is importantly pointed out that the Scotsman isn’t picking the team.
The proof will be in the results between now and the end of the season, but Solskjaer has taken Ferguson’s methods for dealing with managing an absolute monster of a club, mixed in a modern approach to dealing with players and created a United that the supporters identify with.
February’s three huge games across three different competitions will be yet another barometer of Solskjaer’s ability to do the job long-term, but there can be little doubt that he will be taking much of his lead from Ferguson every step of the way.