Solskjaer makes strong case for permanent Man Utd job; Emery and Ozil playing Mourinho and Pogba

By Daily Sports on January 15, 2019

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Mauricio Pochettino, the man who Manchester United bigwigs are pining for to take over the managerial job of the Red Devils, came face-to-face against the man in temporary charge of the club as manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, in an enthralling match at Wembley in the English Premier League and in the end it was Solskjaer who emerged triumphant, leading his lads to beat Tottenham Hotspurs 1-0 away. 

It was very much an audition for the two managers for the United job even though Pochettino already has a lofty job at Spurs and is the more highly rated (coaching wise) of the two. And the manner of the win for United against a high-flying Tottenham side complete with striker Harry Kane, playing an astute tactical game that mixed attacking intent with steady defensive discipline, backed ably by a half-cat and half-human kind of goalie in David De Gea, inevitably invites the question whether Solskjaer has done enough already to deserve the Man United job on a permanent basis. 

Solskjaer has had the best ever start as a United manager by winning his first five matches as boss. 

At the moment, he has made a big statement for the job on a full time basis no doubt. He has improved the players on a tactical and individual level, he has managed well the team spirit within the group. When players are happy and they have quality as United’s players no doubt do, then they can put in wonderful performances as the one Man United showed on Sunday against Spurs. 

As well, Solskjaer has reintroduced an attacking philosophy at Man United and being someone who played a big part in United’s illustrious history as a player he seems to understand very well the playing system that rouses the fans of the club and the positive, calm, well-behaved image that the manager of the club should possess. 

So is he a shoo-in for the United job on a long term basis? Certainly he has done everything required so far to stake a solid claim to the position. If it's announced today, there won’t be a United fan who would utter a serious protest against it, and for good reasons. However, it would be interesting to gauge how Man United respond to a period of slump in form, that period when losses would come at they surely would. How would United fare against PSG in the champions League round of 32? If they lose badly, say, and then go on to lose a couple of subsequent Premier League games, would that elicit serious points in the minds of some big players of the team about the capability of Solskjaer to lead the team forward?

Would they voice out their fears to the ears of the suits of the club? How would Solskjaer rally the troops through the difficulty of tough moments of defeats? These details, as well as his tactical approach to other forthcoming big games of the season, it does seem now, are what the club's hierarchy would take into serious consideration before making a decision on retaining the likeable Norwegian as manager come the end of the season. 

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Emery’s relationship with Ozil has Pogba and Mourinho written all over it

Manchester United began a resurgence immediately after the sacking of their former manager Jose Mourinho following the Portuguese’s failure to get his biggest player, Paul Pogba, to key in to his tactical approach. His messy relationship with the player and some other big names of the team subsequently led to a plunge in team spirit and the club was threatening to implode. 

At Arsenal, there’s a threat that something similar is playing out. It is no more secret that new manager Unai Emery has not been able to get the club’s best player, Mezut Ozil, to implement his tactical instructions of pressing opponents aggressively to regain possession and there are also reports that Ozil has mood swings which the coach isn’t comfortable with. 

The result is that the mercurial attacking midfielder has been largely frozen out of the Arsenal first team. This has coincided with a period of a loss of form for the club in the league and despite Arsenal’s obvious soft defensive underbelly, there is one dominant theme, win or lose (especially in the event of a loss) and it has to do with Ozil. 

As it stands, Ozil seems to be winning the PR war with Emery. The Turk has been putting on a happy face on social media, and after Arsenal’s away loss to West Ham last weekend, he posted a picture of himself and equally frozen out Egyptian Mohammed Elneny on social media with the caption ‘God is with us’. 

Emery has laboured to bring Ozil down his pedestal as the club’s biggest player and has adopted a stance by saying it’s a tactical decision to drop the player from some crucial away games. 

Speaking after Arsenal’s defeat to West Ham, Emery tried to make the point that Arsenal have lost games with Ozil in the team and can win without him. But, as true as that is, every defeat inevitably leaves the Gunners’ fans thinking that they would have had a better chance of winning the game with the player of the vision and defence-splitting capabilities of the big-eyed Ozil in the field, given the largely limp performances of the forward players who fail to deliver in his stead.

Source Daily Sports

Posted January 15, 2019


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