Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is so by the book it’s crazy. This man is plagiarizing Fergie’s book so blatantly it would be offensive if he didn’t have Fergie’s blessing.
What’s in Fergie’s book?
A hard to breakdown defense that generates consistent turnovers and an offense that is lethal on the counter-attack. The chart below highlights United positioning(Premier League era) per season in terms of goals allowed.
Fergie’s outfits while never out right having a sustained period of dominance were always at the very least one of the league’s best units. Ole has returned United to this position with United being joint 4th on the goals allowed chart this season but there is still another bridge to cross;
The offensive ranking chart reveals a truly elite unit who routinely topped the charts with their absurd production. Ole’s 6th ranked unit is literally double Fergie’s worst unit. Fergie had 18 top 2 offenses in 20 years!
The additions of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba has given United an offensive boost but it can’t substitute tactics. One must note how traditional this team is set up to be; A traditional defensive back 4, a classic 6, a classic 8 and a classic almost throwback 10 with pacey wingers. The only thing missing is the left wingback to balance out AWB, the creative winger and the out and out 9.
Ole is shaping this unit in the image of the past United sides he played for.
The addition of another creative force and they may just be all set to make a true run for the title. Which leads me to my final points. 3 changes are necessary for this squad to truly reach it’s peak.
- De Gea steps up or Dean Henderson steps in.
2. Jadon Sancho is a must.
3. Martial steps up or Greenwood begins starting.
That solves 3 issues. The Bundesliga creativity charts show Sancho to be one of Europe’s most efficient volume shooters while also being one of it’s premiere creators. There is no reason to penny pinch when elite playmakers cost north of 40 Million and elite goal scorers cost north of 60 Million so getting both in one guy should cost you around 100 Million.
I believe in United but Martial has proven to be nothing more than a league average finisher. If he can step up to the more elite plain of Aguero and Aubameyang he’ll be perfect for the system. This system needs an elite taker of chances and if Martial fails to prove he can fill that role, give Greenwood a trial run, find out if he can be the guy and if not him drop the necessary funds on Haaland.
All in all I applaud Ole for having a plan and sticking to it, even though it’s an imitation of some one else genius it’s shaping up quite nicely in my view. A better offense next season married with continued defensive solidarity should have United back in the top 4 and if Sancho lands maybe even more.