Jose Mourinho’s departure from Manchester United in December seemed inevitable given the inconsistency shown by the side during his leadership but any suggestion that it was all down to the players has quickly been wiped away.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has led the Red Devils to six consecutive victories across all competitions, proving his worth last weekend with a win over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley that could be extremely valuable at the end of the season.
More often than not, a new manager leads to a fresh set of ideas and better performances but things have gone beyond that at Old Trafford. United are slick, organised, offensive and looking dangerous – with the upturn in form suggesting that a push for a top-four finish in the Premier League could be back on.
United will be expected to extend their winning streak at home against Brighton this weekend, which is worth keeping in mind for using your bet365 bonus code for 2019 and will be the favourites against Arsenal in the FA Cup the following Friday despite the fact the Gunners will be at home.
In fact, there is every possibility that Solskjaer could enter the Champions League Round of 16 clash with Paris Saint-Germain in February with a 100% record as Manchester United boss – something that did not appear to be possible.
While the form guide does not lie, the best evidence of the improvements made under the guidance of the former Norway international has been the performances displayed by the likes of Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, both of whom struggled to make an impact under Mourinho.
Rashford, back in a central striking position, has rekindled the sort of form that saw him catch the eye on his debut a few seasons ago and Pogba is finally looking like the player that Manchester United fans lift the World Cup in the summer.
The test for Solskjaer’s rejuvenated side is maintaining this level of form over the months ahead. While cynics will argue that the only real test the Red Devils have faced so far came last week against Mauricio Pochettino’s side, the fact of the matter is that you can only defeat who lies ahead of you.
On top of that, it is easy to see where the improvements lie. The Red Devils enter this weekend’s clash with Brighton with three consecutive clean sheets across all competitions, while the three games prior to that saw United score 12 goals over the course of three matches – which is 27% of their total tally this season.
With the feel-good factor restored, the defence showing improvements and the big names shining, it seems stopping Solskjaer’s side could be a near impossible task – and it suggests he may be here for the long-term.