The competition in the Manchester United squad in recent weeks was one of the key factors to the team’s success and unbeaten run.
Players understood their roles, the need for rotation, and it was about team success over individuals.
It is not too dissimilar from the team spirit Roy Keane referenced this week on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football when discussing the togetherness in the United team in the 2000/2001 season.
Keane said: “We were one of the first to rotate the squad throughout the competitions and it worked because the players made it work.
“They were professionals and when they got the opportunity they went out and done the business.”
Everyone pulling in the same direction
There is no selfishness at United at present. This team of players are not complaining at a lack of chances.
Rotation is absolutely key with United needing fresh legs to compete in the Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup.
The players are appreciating this, with the likes of Nemanja Matic playing once a week and being rested for his own sake.
There is a lot more education in footballers in terms of sports science than there was 20 years ago, and players are appreciative of the need to be at full fitness to produce peak performance.
Whether it be rotation in goal, at left-back, centre-back, central midfield or up front, this United team have multiple options when everybody is fit.
Like Keane’s comments on the 2000/01 side, the rotation in this current United team is working ‘because the players are making it work’.
It is no coincidence that one of the players in that team was current United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Unlike last season, Solskjaer has a squad he has moulded himself rather than one he has inherited.
He has players with the right attitude, and lately, with strong performances to match. The way he has managed them in recent weeks before the break has been very impressive.
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