Derby win further proof Manchester United are moving forward
Background Image Via: Wikimedia Commons/Daniel. CC BY 2.0.
I feel pretty comfortable in stating that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first few months in charge of Manchester United as interim boss is the happiest I've been watching Red Devils football since Sir Alex Ferguson decided to call it quits. The football was free-flowing. Old Trafford was a happy camp again.
The nine months succeeding *that* night in Paris has been a real mixed bag. However, the Baby Faced Assassin's plan is clear. Solskjaer is clearing the dead-wood from the squad, while making some smart signings, too. Whatever happens from here on out, any United fan must be grateful for the smart job that the Norweigan is carrying out.
Over the last month or so, United's form has mirrored that of Solskjaer's early days. As a match-goer, I now look forward to making the pilgrimage to the Theatre of Dreams. There's an excitement, a positivity about the place once again; culminating in a well-deserved derby day win against Pep Guardiola's Manchester City. It's the third time Solskjaer has outwitted a manager who is regularly credited with changing the face of English football. Not bad for a PE teacher, eh...?
Football is about enjoyment. Old Trafford was jam-packed with ruckus Reds who were having the time of their lives on the way to silencing the noisy neighbours. The best part? United deserved it. Those players were performing with freedom, confidence and belief. That's down to Solskjaer. He may not be the stellar name that Jose Mourinho was, nor a master tactician like Louis van Gaal. Sometimes, simplicity is key. Taking it back to basics, stripping this squad bare and signing players who want to put the effort in and play for the badge on their chest is working wonders. It's supremely refreshing to see.
Acquiring Bruno Fernandes seems like a masterstroke. The Portuguese has taken to life in the Premier League like a duck to water. He plays with a hunger and desire to win, while having an aura that not many possess. Simply put, he makes everyone around him better.
Then you have Odion Ighalo. His loan signing was met with predictable criticism, but did you see *that* flick in the build-up to the second goal? Or the sublime hold-up play as the clock ticked down in injury time. All respect to Romelu Lukaku, but that's something the Belgian simply couldn't do during his time in Manchester. Another correct Solskjaer decision.
At the very least, all we ask for is that you wear that badge with pride. To a man, every single player carried out their duty with diligence. From Mancunian born and bred Brandon Williams, to Brazilian Fred with a little Daniel James sandwiched in between, those lads gave their absolute all. Do that every week and the Old Trafford faithful will always go home happy whatever the result.
Sure, you may not agree with every decision Solskjaer makes. In truth, he's probably learning on the job. At the very least, though, us United fans can all admit we're enjoying ourselves again, right? The Baby Faced Assassin may not be the man to deliver countless trophies, only time will reveal that answer. What I do know for a fact is that he's providing more answers than problemss, while giving us United fans belief that this great club will be challenging for major honours in the not too distant future.
Come on you Reds.