On January 7th, the FA Cup 4th round draw took place. Manchester United were drawn against Arsenal in the draw. The manager’s reaction seem to be pretty positive and inviting as Ole prepares his team during their warm weather training in Dubai for the Tottenham game.
The FA Cup 4th round tie is just one of the 6 big games United will be taking on in a period, which can be considered the make or break one. After the Tottenham game, the next big game is against Arsenal in the FA Cup which starts a run of 6 big games which will last till mid March ending the run with the eagerly waited second Manchester Derby of the season.
In this period, Ole and his men will take on Arsenal twice, once in the Premier League and again in the FA Cup. We take on Paris Saint Germain twice in the Champions League, face Liverpool in the league at Old Trafford between the UCL fixtures and take on City on 16th March at Old Trafford again.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 7, 2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been enthusiastic and positive about the tough and tricky upcoming fixtures. This also would raise comparison with Mourinho all over again because Jose certainly wouldn’t have been this inviting about these run of fixtures and would have looked to blame something or someone if the results faltered under him.
When asked about his thoughts on drawing Arsenal in the fourth round, here is what he had to say :
Fantastic. We need these games. These players need the big games to be challenged.
”Of course, everyone says we’ve won the last five games but [they have] not been [against] big opposition. But you can only beat the teams you play and, for us to get tested and go to the next level, you need those games. And if you want to win the FA Cup, you have to beat everybody.“
The Tottenham game on Sunday is Ole’s first big test after being appointed as interim manager and only then can the next run of big fixtures be discussed.
Even though Ole Solskjaer has won 5 games in a row, it has come against the so called lesser teams which has helped build the team’s confidence perfectly for the game on Sunday.
Many might think that Ole has done a brilliant job in getting the results in such a manner. But the results given by the high Manchester United standards are perfectly normal and not a big feat or extraordinary unless we look into the recent past.
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The last three managers failed to produce neither the results nor the style of play which would live up to the expectations, and after those troubled periods, this may seem a great achievement, but it’s not.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has just unlocked and unchained the players and told them to amaze and excite the United faithful. The players are happy and noises have been coming out that they want Ole to stay on as their permanent manager.
Pochettino, all but ruled himself out of the United job by saying he wants to stay at Spurs for 20 years and maybe end his career there. It’d be a fixture to savour, this Sunday with all the drama with the manager and the first test to truly judge Ole’s impact.