Champions League football action returns on Tuesday night after a lengthy break. The Round of 16 draw held in Switzerland in December, paired a now resurgent Manchester United side against Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
A tie that only two months ago seemed an incredibly daunting task for Manchester United under former boss, Jose Mourinho, now remarkably looks like one interim Manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, would embrace.
A lot has changed ever since the former United striker took charge as head coach. A 3-1 battering at Anfield left Jose Mourinho’s United wobbling at 6th on the league table, a goal difference of +2 and only a point better than Wolves.
That game, a defining moment as the end of Mourinho’s reign as boss was unwavering. A believed conspiracy theory, spearheaded by Paul Pogba who was under fire then, had eventually come to fruition.
Evidently, a frosty relationship between Mourinho and his players led to the dismissal of the former Chelsea manager. Unsurprisingly, United fans greeted the Portuguese’s dismissal with great joy.
After all the distress his approach, philosophy and refusal to be more daring in games had caused them, a new face and new chapter was one being yearned for at Old Trafford.
An apt decision to appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker was certainly a step in the right direction by Ed Woodward. Producing ten wins in eleven games is no fluke!
The interim manager is making it the more difficult for those in the top hierarchy to overlook him for a permanent job as head coach by each passing week.
The Norwegian with an aura of belief seems to have gotten United’s mojo back right in time for the mouthwatering fixture against Les Parisiens at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
The Red Devils, currently sit 4th and pip Arsenal and Chelsea both on 50 points with a one point difference, the kind of change that seemed impossible to achieve.
The recent Manchester United have really marveled and made people to question Mourinho’s leadership the more.
An illusion invented by Jose Mourinho that there was a dearth of talent in the squad is one of the false statements you would ever hear from anywhere around the world this season.
To simply put, under the tutelage of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the team suddenly boasts of a plethora of talents with an illustration being Marcus Rashford, who is currently in the form of his life, deployed as a striker.
The young English forward was used sparingly by José Mourinho at that position with Lukaku, his preferred choice, which didn’t pay much dividends with the Belgian struggling for form.
Mourinho’s approach turned out to be the reason Paul Pogba never looked to be in his elements, being a pale shadow of the one United acquired from Juventus for a then world record transfer fee of £89 million.
The French international is now playing to expectations and being as decisive as ever, contributing goals and assists under the 45-year-old interim manager.
What the Portuguese failed to offer him, the Norwegian seems to be doing just that, resulting in an upturn of form for the 25-year-old World Cup winner.
Ole seems to be rewriting the scripts and anything he touches now turns to gold. Manchester United is now a free-scoring side, looking as menacing as ever, implementing the attacking football he, Ole, has always preached.
Manchester United look like a typical Manchester United again, reminiscent of Fergie’s side.
A team oozing in confidence and conviction, thanks to interim manager Ole, would have no fear welcoming French champions PSG, especially when two of their fearsome trident, Neymar and Cavani, will miss out due to injury.
A resounding 3-0 away win at Fulham is just the perfect ingredient Ole’s men need to prepare for a recipe like PSG.
CREDIT: BRIGHT N.B ANTWI