OLE is at the Wheel: The Success of Manchester United

                                                                                                  -SHUBHANKAR

What a dramatic turnaround it has been. The 2019/20 season saw the Premier League table turn dramatically at the end of the season. The halted 2019/20 Premier League season, which was halted due to the Covid 19 pandemic came to an end yesterday. This season can be surely termed as one of the best in many years for the Red Devils- Manchester United. Yes, Ole is surely at the wheel right now. The way Manchester United started the season, with the selling of their outright strikers Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, a top 6 finish was going to be termed as a very good season for Manchester United. But when yesterday the league got over, Manchester United finished 3rd on the overall table, finishing above the likes of Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal and Leicester City. This table showed the grit and determination with which the whole squad played this whole season of ups and downs. The start of the season saw Manchester United at one stage being 14 points behind Leicester City and completed the season with 4 points more than Leicester City.

What made this turnaround possible for a struggling Manchester United team midway through the season? The answer is the signing of the Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes in the January transfer window. The change brought in by the midfield maestro has helped Manchester United perform better than before and helped them have a steady team, building a steady team around him and enjoying the fruitful results. Not only Bruno Fernandes, but all the other players from the squad need to be congratulated as they never gave up and till the end fought like a strong team, which never gives up. With rumours going strong of Paul Pogba not happy, wanting to leave, the club was under pressure. But with the introduction of Ole as the permanent manager of Manchester United, the fortunes have really turned around quite significantly. Yes, Manchester United haven’t won any silverware under him, but he has obviously built a team which in the future can challenge not only for the Premier League but also for the all important Champions League.

What Ole has done, is shown faith in the youth and brought in players from both the academy as well as from the transfer window. He has brought in the young players, building a squad for the future who could challenge for any tournament. Look at the names they have in the starting line up, be it the young English striker Marcus Rashford, French striker Anthony Martial and the teen sensation Mason Greenwood. The midfield also has the mixture of both young and experienced talent like Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Matic, Scott Mctominay, etc. The major problem what United will face over the next few seasons, which Ole has to focus on and fill the gap as soon as possible is the defence. With the experienced goalkeeper David Degea making way to many mistakes this season, he has to come up with the quality performances again before the criticism increases, leading him to be axed by the club in the near future. The young defenders like Lindelöf and Harry Maguire have to make sure that their mistakes are less going into the new season and that they hold a tight backline. These are things which Ole needs to focus upon in the future, with Champions League football coming up the net season.

What I feel after Ole’s performance this season as a manager and the team he has built is that it wouldn’t be long before Manchester United are back again dominating the footballing world. The main focus for him should be to nurture the young talent into world class players who can dominate the likes of current English champions Liverpool or the ever dominating Manchester City. This team which Ole has played over the course of this season has looked just going on the right track and I feel what the fans of Manchester United have been waiting for, the domination of Manchester United over other football clubs is very very close and the man who could do it is, none other than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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