Written by Cisco Casserley
Something has changed.
Something, and it feels in a big way.
I know it is early days but everything surrounding the club feels like it is the best it’s been in the past six years.
It is beginning to feel like the old United again. My four-year-old sits in the stands with me having consistently complained over the past year: “I’m bored I want to go home.” He now complains its too loud. The mood has changed. Inside and outside the stadium the atmosphere is electric.
The past six years have been as frustrating as they have infuriating. A series of poor managerial appointments and a transfer policy at times that has left people bewildered. It was clear in Moyes’ first few weeks with the consistent chasing of Fellaini as THE prime transfer targets that something was wrong, very wrong.
Fellaini, especially, was seen by most fans as someone who was suited to teams who play a completely different style of football to “the United way”. From there, things just spiralled and the United once so well known for its style of play and values seemed to have vanished. The van Gaal years were just painful to watch; sideways passing, no threat, no intent followed by Mourinho’s bland football and the attitude that he was bigger than the club. Destroying players’ confidence by calling them out in the media and his consistent self-pity that dragged the club down for over two years.
I wasn’t sure when I heard about Solkjaer’s appointment. Would he be a success after his failure at Cardiff? Yes, he’s done brilliantly at Molde, but United is a completely different kettle of fish.
But, he knows United. He knows the values, he knows the club through and through. After all, he had a fantastic manager to learn from. He understands the fans and goes about his business with a massive smile. He realises he’s privileged to be the manager of such a big club and is relishing every minute.
He’s stuck to basics. Unlike Mourinho, he’s realised United’s strengths and played to them. Some of the best attacking players in the country if not in the world.
Rashford, Martial and Pogba have been immense, given licence to bomb forward at every opportunity, he’s benched or exiled players who do not fit into United’s pacy attacking style of play. Players who were slowing the team down and preventing the scintillating football synonymous with United. Even the simple change of putting players in suits and ties before and after each game. Is it a small change? Yes but, as said, it feels like the old United again, respect for the club and respect for the traditions.
Time will tell but at least for now the fans have something to feel excited about and it looks like Solksjaer could be the perfect fit.