United statistics under Solskjaer

Statistics are not everything in football, yet some football fans would have you believe that they are everything. I’m of an age before statistics were displayed on television for all to see, but that doesn’t mean I do not find them interesting. When they are displayed I take note, however I do not ever get caught up in them, they are simply there to provide more information to the watching public.

Football clubs, managers and their coaching staff by all means should look at them in even more in-depth. Certainly if it can help improve a player’s, or team’s performance by just a few percent in a game then surely it’s an advantage.

This week though, some stats did stand out to me that I was completely shocked by. Now we all know how well Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been doing since taking over as interim-manager following the sacking of Jose Mourinho after defeat to bitter rivals Liverpool. The same team that now comes to Old Trafford this Sunday looking for another three points in their bid to finally become English League Champions for the first time since 1990.

When Mourinho was sacked in December, two days after the defeat at Anfield, it was his 24th game in charge this season in all competitions. In all those games he’d won just 10. That wasn’t the only thing that got him the sack, most United fans were sick of his moaning and more because of his style of play which was not the “United way”.

Ten wins then from twenty-four games, not good, yet Solskjaer has made it look so easy and on Monday night when his side beat Chelsea in the FA Cup. He made it 11 wins from just 13 games in all competitions, already surpassing Jose’s winning stats for the season and he’s only been in charge for two months.

The win at Stamford Bridge on Monday surely seals Ole as United’s full-time manager for next season and beyond, or does he have to beat Liverpool this weekend? Well that would be nice for their fans, considering the hatred between the two clubs, but surely if they were to lose it will not damage his ongoing interview for becoming United’s full-time manager.

I cannot see that happening and I think United’s board have already decided that he will become their next manager this summer, which will please the United fans. Including the 6000 of them in the away end on Monday night who kept on singing their manager’s name over and over again. The United fan’s lyrics to Ole’s at the wheel are brilliant and they will continue to tell us how good does it feel to the end of the season now I’m sure. Whether that is with a trophy or without.

It wasn’t just the win against Chelsea, it was the team’s performance that stood out to me, tactically they say Solskjaer hasn’t done much but my word he showed he had on Monday in SW6. Playing Mata down the middle surprised a few people, including me, but it worked as Mata did not have to think about getting up and down like he has done previously when playing on either wing. This then allowed both goalscorers Herrera and Pogba to have outstanding matches as they sat in behind Mata, but got forward when they needed to.

As for World Cup winner Paul Pogba, well he’s found a new lease of life under Solskjaer as he looks to be enjoying his football again and his stats certainly show that as well. Pogba managed five goals and four assists under Mourinho in twenty games, yet since Ole’s takeover, he has helped scored or assisted in fifteen goals in just thirteen games. Maybe I should take note even more of statistics?

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