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Guest Post by Ali Mangi

Manchester United are back in action with the players ready to get on the pitch for their pre-season sessions as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer aims to bring back excitement at Old Trafford with a fresh-looking squad for the up-coming season.

Finishing the 2018-19 campaign sixth on the Premier League table, 32 points behind arch-rivals Manchester City, is just not acceptable for the Red Devil’s elite background.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has the entire spotlight on him to recover the ever-so-dull Manchester United and construct concrete foundations to structure with a plan that actually has a future to work with.

A top-four finish and performing at the highest level in competitions such as the Europa League and the FA Cup is the least that is expected from the Norwegian and his young squad next season.

Is Solskjaer the man that brings back the glory for Manchester United? Quite possibly, yes and we examine why he’s the man for the job.

Bring out his A-game on the pitch

Solskjaer had the perfect fairy-tale beginning at his new club when he replaced former manager Jose Mourinho back in December.

However, a disastrous ending to the season with just two wins in 12 matches resulted in no Champions football next year. This is what marked a statement that the manager has to maintain his adaptation against specific teams and become more flexible tactically in the pitch.

Ole and assistants Michael Carrick, Mike Phelan will instigate a  playing style for the players to develop an understanding to switch tactical system and have the ability to gel according to how the game is being played out.

Manchester United DNA

Having played under the greatest manager in history – Sir Alex Ferguson – the Norwegian coach knows the definition of understanding and having the ‘Manchester United DNA’ inside out, which is exactly what he would want his player to implement as well.

Solskjaer did question his players for not having the hunger and desire to play at their maximum level last season, which will result in him addressing his young talent to implement the winning mentality strategy and perform at their best on the pitch.

Will investment in youth and trim out the old legs

It’s quite shocking how the likes of Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones all signed a contract extension last season, albeit none of these players have had a constant quality to even compete against the big sides than thinking of reaching the sights of the title. All three of them have a combine 800 appearances for the Red Devils which is why adding a solid centre-back with leadership quality is what we will probably be hoping and watching next season.

Signing talents such as Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka is just the perfect start of the era of trusting and giving opportunity to quality-based young players. With players such as Romelu Lukaku, Matteo Darmian and maybe Paul Pogba expected to depart, the former United’s midfielder will aim to bring out fresh talent with an urge to prove their abilities at the Old Trafford.

Playing the United way

Pre-season will provide Solsjkaer with enough time to institute his system on the team, allow freedom to players to express themselves more in a  coherent system that will bring out the best for all parties.

The Former Molde manager knows how this club is meant to work, which is why the Norwegian will implement the fast-paced counter-attacking football or in simple words, play the Manchester United way no matter what the situation is during the game.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has all the education and knowledge about this gigantic club, understands the philosophy of Manchester United and playing for the badge is what brought back the glory days for the Red Devils which is why fans can expect light in the tunnel and be excited for what Solskjaerwill bring on the pitch

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By Sammy Walsh

Manchester United have endured a roller coaster season this year. It started with the uninspired performances of the team under Jose at the beginning of the season. The reds just scraped past Leicester in the opening gaming before losing away at Brighton and home to Spurs. A run of three draws on the bounce against Southampton, Arsenal and Palace did little to lift the spirits of the fans in early December.

In mid-December Mourinho’s men suffered a heavy defeat away at Anfield (3-1) the result proved to be the final straw for the board, the club and the Portuguese manager parted company a few days later. United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose and immediately results picked up. A big win away at Cardiff seem to signal a new era at Manchester United; the team was impressive in a thumping 5-1 victory just three days before Christmas.

The good results continued into 2019, notably with wins against Newcastle, Bournemouth and Spurs. Ole won his first six games in charge of the reds. However, United lost to Everton badly in April, and this result was followed by a 0-2 defeat at home to Manchester City.  The next league game saw United once again held at home, this time by Chelsea. A dire performance away at Huddersfield pointed to a lack of desire from a number of the United squad. The final game of the season should have proved an opportunity for the players to shine.Nevertheless, another terrible performance and a humiliating 0-2 defeat by Cardiff at Old Trafford will have given Ole much food for thought. Can he continue with a core of players, who at times, don’t seem to care enough? Looking at the current United squad, I would scratch off the names below from the teamsheet before pre-season training begins.

Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez had been a stand out player for Arsenal since joining the London side in 2014 from Barcelona. United fans believed we’d snatched another RVP from under the noses of Arsenal. What should’ve have been a fantastic signing for the club, has turned into a nightmare for the player and the fans. The 30-year-old Chilean has played 32 times (PL) for United, but only found the back of the net on three occasions! A woeful statistic for any forward, never mind who is as experienced as Sanchez. To compound the misery, the player arrived at Old Trafford on very lucrative personal terms. Alexis is reportedly on a £350,000-per-week contract – making him the highest earning player in the Premier League! To put that into perspective, he’s earning more per week than many of the top jackpot scratch cards available on the National Lottery. He’s shown nothing in his time at the club to justify that salary; his overblown wages are also having a destabilizing effect on the dressing room. He should be the first player out the door over the summer.

Phil Jones

Jones has been with the club since 2011, signing for Alex Ferguson from Blackburn Rovers. The early promise shown by Jones has never materialized, despite being given opportunities to progress by every manager who has been at the club since Fergie retired. In fact, in many ways, Jones has regressed as a defender in recent years. He’s now more famous for his facial contortions than his defensive abilities. At 27-years-old he could still command a half decent transfer fee. Which begs the question – why have United extended his contract to 2023? He should follow Sanchez out the door, although he’ll probably trip on the carpet on the way out.

Ashley Young

It gives me no joy to include Ashley Young in this list. I think he has been a great servant to the club over the years. He’s been criticized heavily this season by sections of the crowd for his performances. I would remind everyone that Ashley is 33 years old! And he’s still putting in a bigger shift than many of the younger players (*cough Martial). I think his top-flight playing days are over. Take his name off the teamsheet, but I’d like to see him stay at Old Trafford in some capacity.

David De Gea

Will he stay, or will he go?  If David wants to sun himself in Madrid, let him go. He’s the best shot-stopper in the world – no question about that, but his command of the goal area is virtually none existent. I think De Gea is the cause of many of United’s defensive frailties with his inability to come off his line. He’ll generate a decent transfer fee, and we have a fantastic number 2 keeper in Sergio Romero. Step over Jones on the way out, Dave.

Romelu Lukaku

In an era where football is about speed & skill, Lukaku lacks either of these qualities. His body shape suggests he’s looking for a career in the ‘Worlds Stronger Man’ competition when his footballing days are over – which could be sooner than he thinks. I’d like to see him out the door with the rest, but will he fit through the door frame?

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By Sam Walsh

It doesn’t happen very often, but all four English sides have made it through to the Champions League quarter-finals. In fact, the last time the feat was accomplished was during the 2008/09 campaign – ten years ago now – where Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all made the last eight.

This season, two of England’s representatives will face each other so there’s no chance that we’ll be entertaining two all-English semi-final ties. The teams in question are Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, where Liverpool and Manchester United will face FC Porto and FC Barcelona respectively. After a rather barren spell in Europe’s elite, English sides have been vastly improved in recent years and the UEFA Champions League winner odds pit City as favourites (12/5).

What went wrong?

If we take a look back, English sides were the pinnacle of European football between 2005 and 2012. Liverpool recorded their fifth European crown whilst United and Chelsea each lifted the trophy, with all three clubs also losing out in a final during this seven-year period. But since the Blues’ famous victory against Bayern Munich in 2012, Premier League sides have found it difficult to successfully navigate themselves to the latter stages.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why the Premier League’s dominance took a sudden nosedive; perhaps fatigue and a downgrade in quality players joining England were two of the reasons, but credit must be given to Spain and Germany. Between 2013 and 2018, Real Madrid won the tournament four times with Barca recording a win in 2015, as well as Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich’s solitary win in 2013.

Things got that bad for English sides, their four-team allocation was under serious threat but United’s Europa League win in 2016 and Liverpool’s final appearance last year showed the tables were turning in England’s favour once again. It’s clear that the main factors for the Premier League’s arrest in consistent performances were a mixture of sub-standard showings, other teams/nations improving and a lack of strong signings.

Rejuvenatedperformances

Although Jürgen Klopp’s side went down 3-1 to Real Madrid in the 2018 final in Kiev, it was evident the tide was turning in favour of English sides. If truth be told, the Reds might have gone on to win the tournament had it not been for Mohamed Salah’s first-half injury, but it was still rewarding to see an English side progress that far.

During the five Champions League campaigns from 2013-2017, English sides could only muster up four quarter-final appearances with two of those sides making the semis. Therefore, Premier League teams have effectively equalled that total during a single tournament and much of this owes to an improvement in managers and players drafted in.

City and Liverpool have two of the world’s best gaffers at the helm and they have shaped their teams to suit their style, and the hard work is coming to fruition. The Red Devils have really struggled in recent Champions League campaigns but there’s no reason why they can’t go all the way to the final at least, assuming they beat Barca in April. Even relative newbies Spurs have put in some fine performances over the last two seasons, so after a five-year decline, it appears that English sides have started to regain their grip on the Champions League.

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Kawhi Leonard, the sensational player from Toronto Raptors, has scored his season best with 37 points. Though this NBA season is all about hitting the 50 points mark, Leonard has been considered as a most reliable and consistent player. This is only the beginning for the season for him. So, it is anticipated that he will soon break all the records. With his stunning performance, his team Toronto Raptors has registered an amazing victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. On a Friday night, the final score comes to 126 – 110. It is needless to mention that the match was a close contest.

Both the teams have played well against each other. They put up an epic battle in front of the guests in the arena. However, due to sheer class of Leonard, the Raptors emerged as victorious at the end. Apart from Leonard, the high scoring game had experienced a heroic performance from others too. OG Anunoby had scored 21 points, and this is his career’s best performance till date. On the other hand, Pascal Siakam had added 15 more points to his name. Norman Powell and Fred Vanvleet had added 11 and 14 points respectively.

For Cleveland, there was no dearth of good performance too. They put up an excellent fight against an opponent, though they have to settle at the end of the defeated. However, their fight and competitive mindset are worth to be appreciated as well as rejoicing. Jordan Clarkson was the ace performance of the night for Cleveland. He had registered total 20 points. With 17 points, Collin Sexton stood second-best performer for the team. The saga of good performance continues with Larry Nance, Cedi Osman, etc. Both of them had scored 12 points for their team. Despite their efforts, Cleveland had to succumb to the defeat against their opponents, as individual brilliance of Kawhi Leonard had outshined everyone.

At one stage of the game, Cleveland had 10 points lead over Toronto. But, soon Toronto turned things on, and for that, all credit goes to the amazing performance of Leonard. Overall, the game was worth watching and highly rejuvenating. There was everything to make the viewers satisfied. Neck to neck competition, ups and down, and many events during the game fetched the much-required enjoyment as well as a thrill for the viewers. To know about the game scores and other details, you can check WagerBop sports betting sites. These websites are poised with all the crucial information that basketball lovers and NBA fans would require.

Wrapping up

At one stage, the game was poised at 99 – 93 scoreline. It clearly suggests that the game was a close competition between the two teams in every quarter. Toronto had to get into the arena without its key player Danny Green, who was removed from the squad due to the injury during the practice sessions. However, his sore knee does not seem to be too serious. So, fans can expect him into the basketball ring soon. He will come up strong and become a formidable force for his team.

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By Tim Opera

A month and a half ago, you’d be forgiven for laughing at the suggestion that Manchester United could make the top four this season. But after sacking Jose Mourinho and bringing in former player Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the United faithful have seen an upturn in form which sees them now just three points below fourth place Chelsea.

After the Red Devils’ 3-1 loss away to Liverpool on the 16th December, Mourinho was sacked with the club lying in sixth place, eight points below fifth place Arsenal and a distant eleven points below fourth place Chelsea. Since taking over from Mourinho, United legend Solskjær has guided the club to six league wins on the bounce as they look to recover their season in sensational style, but just how far can they go?

Premier League

It would take a miracle for United to overtake Liverpool at the top of the table and the current favourites, according to Paddy Power, to win the Premier League this season have been in sensational form, winning 19 of their 23 games so far. United though are the only team at the moment who have won all of their last five matches and with matches against City and Liverpool still to play, they could be the king makers this season.

However, while the title may be out of reach, there is still the very real chance of United finishing in the top four and it is all down to Solskjær getting the best out of the players he has at his disposal. Although the argument could be made that the Red Devils’ only tough opponent since the Norwegian took over has been Tottenham, the fact that the players look motivated and are producing good results will at least lift the mood of the fans.

FA Cup

After United defeated Championship club Reading 2-0 in the third round of the FA Cup, they were drawn away against former title rivals Arsenal in what is sure to be a closely fought match between the two.

The draw provides Solskjær with another opportunity to prove that he has the managerial capabilities to mix it with the best in the league. If the team builds enough confidence, then this United side will be one to be feared in the later rounds. This represents their best hope of a trophy this season.

Champions League

Ole Gunnar Solskjær is very familiar with the Champions League, having scored the stoppage time winner in the famous 1999 final against Bayern Munich. Solskjær played a massive role in helping the Red Devils win the history-making treble that season and will be eager to continue his positive exploits in Europe’s premier competition.

MAN. UNITED 2-1 BAYERN: #UCL 1999 FINAL FLASHBACK - YouTube

When the draw was announced on the 17th December, United fans were fearing the worst after they were draw against Paris Saint-Germain while Mourinho was still in charge. That fear has turned to optimism since the grey clouds that hung over the Portuguese’s tenure have begun to clear. Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku have looked like different players under the guidance of Solskjær, who himself has shown a much improved performance as a Premier League manager after previously managing Cardiff City from January to September 2014, in which he oversaw their relegation from the Premier League.

With a much stronger squad at his disposal than the one he had at Cardiff, he is able to instil the style of football that he loves and that is ingrained in the DNA of Manchester United. Although he is only caretaker manager until the end of the season, after so many big name managers have failed to deliver the goods, perhaps it’s worth United taking a punt on one of their own?

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By Sam Walsh

Manchester United defeated Bournemouth 4-1 on Sunday, a result which now places the Red Devils a whopping 19 point behind league leaders Liverpool. This is the third game interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has overseen, the post Mourinho era turning into an exciting time for the club. The interim manager secured his third win in as many games on Sunday beating Bournemouth at Old Trafford, with help from two first half goals from Paul Pogba and here are two things we observed in the game:

Paul pogba thrives in a free role:

Pogba was fast becoming less and less influential under Jose Mourinho. The midfielder had a strained working relationship with his former coach, with the pair always at loggerheads over their style of play.

Out of the 12 goals scored since Solskjaer’s appointment, Pogba has contributed heavily, scoring four and assisting three. That is a huge return for a player once deemed ‘a virus’ who was lacking character and maturity by his former manager.

So what has changed? It could be that Solskjaer employs a style of play that allows the French international to play in a free role, giving him enough room for creativity.

Solskjaer has also helped Pogba to regain his confidence and given him the license to be free and become the player we once knew and loved.

Eric Bailly can become a Man United legend:

When Bailly joined Manchester United, the deal seemed to be a major coup, and just a few years later, inconsistent had become the perfect way to describe his game.

One of Bailly’s best attributes is his pace, with which he pursues strikers and puts them under pressure. The top tier seems to be proving difficult for him and his pace alone won’t keep him a first team place at United in the Premier League.

His role in the team needs to be worked on and that is where Solskjaer comes in – with the manager’s help, Bailly can surely become a success and live up to his early promise.

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By Sam Walsh

Winning the UEFA Champions League is no easy feat.

World class players often measure the success of their careers on whether they have tasted success in Europe’s finest club competition, and legends have been created in the game thanks to the tournaments popularity.

In the modern era, some of the game’s finest players ever seen have graced the Champions League and more often than not, have consistently performed on Europe’s biggest stage. Something that can truly define a player is what they bring to the big stage, and in particular, the Champions League Final.

Here, we take a look at the five best finals from yesteryear:

AC Milan 4-0 FC Barcelona

It’s fair to say AC Milan were in disarray before their final against FC Barcelona in 1994. Marco Van Basten was out through injury, and legendary defenders Franco Baresi and Alessandro Costacurta were suspended. To make matters worse, Barcelona were playing some of the best football of the time and were clear favourites going into the match.

Things didn’t quite pan out as expected though. Milan came racing out of the blocks and quite simply dismantled Johan Cruyff’s side. Goals from Dejan Savicevic, Marcel Desailly, and a Daniele Massaro double meant the Rossoneri lifted their fifth European Cup and first Champions League since its re-brand.

FC Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that the Barcelona side of 2011 was the best he’d ever faced, and it’s hard to disagree with him. Wayne Rooney cancelled out Pedro’s opener, equalising for the Red Devils on the stroke of half-time but it didn’t stop the footballing masterclass from Pep Guardiola’s ballers.

David Villa and Lionel Messi scored in the second-half to ensure United weren’t going to exact revenge for two-years previous, whereby Barca ran out 2-0 winners in the final in Rome. The 2011 spectacle was a joy to behold, with two teams at the peak of their powers going toe-to-toe, but ultimately, there was only going to be one winner.

Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea (6-5 pens)

The only all-English Champions League final came in 2008, when United and Chelsea locked horns in Moscow. Although the score line suggests a tight and cagey affair, the game was anything but. Cristiano Ronaldo gave United the lead before Frank Lampard equalised on the cusp of half-time.

The second period saw both teams attack and go for the jugular, but a break through didn’t come and even after Didier Drogba saw red for Chelsea, the game went onto a dreaded penalty shootout. Ronaldo missed his to give John Terry the chance to seal glory, but a famous slip and an Edwin van der Sar save from Nicolas Anelka meant United just edged it.

Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan (3-2 pens)

AC Milan were so good coming into the tie it was clear that Liverpool needed something special to have any chance of winning their fifth European crown, and something special is exactly what they produced. But it didn’t start out how the Reds would have wanted, though.

Paolo Maldini gave the Italians a first minute lead before a Hernan Crespo double before half-time looked to have squashed Liverpool’s hopes. Then, a Steven Gerrard-inspired Liverpool sprang into action. Three goals in six minutes turned the game on its head and although Milan missed chance after chance, Rafael Benitez’s side held on for penalties. At 3-2 to the Reds, Andriy Shevchenko saw his spot kick saved by Jerzy Dudek, who had performed heroics throughout the game to keep Liverpool in it, and secure their all-important fifth title.

Bayern Munich 1-2 Manchester United

The 1999 Champions League final is arguably the best final, featuring the greatest comeback in the history of the Champions League. Admittedly, the first 89 minutes of the 1999 final were relatively low key, albeit a Mario Basler goal giving Bayern Munich the lead in the sixth minute. The Germans looked comfortable throughout the tie without anything of real note occurring, until one of the most inspiring double substitutions of all-time flipped the game on its head.

Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær were introduced with the former scoring right at the death, looking to have put the game into extra-time. Fate had decided the tie wasn’t heading in that direction and Solskjær wrote himself into United folklore, scoring deep into time added on to give the English side a historic treble.

Solskjær is now the manager of United until the end of the season and he has already won his opening three matches as manager. With the Red Devils firing on all cylinders, is it time to take a look at the bets on Champions League and see is Solskjær can once again work a miracle, this time as manager.

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By Tim Opera

Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has expanded his coaching staff with the addition of Mark Dempsey to the coaching staff at Old Trafford, reports Skysports.

Similar to Solskjaer, Dempsey also had coaching stints in Norway, and also Sweden where he coached Haugesund and Djurgarden respectively.

Dempsey will assist Solskjaer in his duties as the head coach for the remainder of the campaign, with the pair having previously worked together during Solskjaer’s eight month spell at the helm at Cardiff City, Dempsey had also worked alongside Solskjaer at Molde back in 2015.

He most recently had a brief spell in charge of Start before moving on to Kongsvinger in June 2018 and he’s now back in England.

Dempsey, who was a firm favourite of Alex Ferguson, is fondly remembered by United fans for the major role he played in their Academy during the reign of Ferguson at the club as a development coach.

He will now be looking to help Solskjaer guide his team back up to the top of the Premier League table in a bid to secure qualification to the Champions League next season.

His appointment further strengthens the coaching staff at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ that already comprises of the likes of Mike Phelan, Michael Carrick, Kieran McKenna and Emilio Alvarez, a backroom team that looks ready to storm the football world.

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Tim Opera

All of a sudden, things are starting to look downright rosy at Old Trafford. Manchester United have picked up 2 wins in the 2 games since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over for Jose Mourinho. While the side still have a long way to go if they want to play a part in next season’s Champions League, the Red Devils have looked like a different side completely since Mourinho was shown the door just before Christmas.

United have scored 8 goals and conceded just twice in the back-to-back wins over Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town. While Cardiff and Huddersfield aren’t exactly tough opponents, the fact that the Red Devils have found the back of the net 8 times in the last 2 games still shows that the side is looking rejuvenated under the caretaker manager. If you placed a live bet on the over on implied goal totals for United’s wins over Cardiff and Huddersfield (learn about in-play betting here), you likely have a little extra spending money heading into the new year. The uptick in goalscoring for the side has been impressive.

Prior to Mourinho’s dismissal, there were murmurs that United should seek to replace striker Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian looked world class with his nation’s side at the World Cup in Russia over the summer, but he has largely struggled to replicate that form at the club level since coming to Old Trafford in the summer of 2017.

Lukaku scored 16 times in 34 Premier League appearances for United in his first season. While that is still decent production, it was not quite what United supporters were expecting. Lukaku scored 25 goals in 37 appearances the season prior for an Everton side that struggled to generate much of anything else going forward. He has scored 6 times thus far in 16 appearances in the league.

Suggesting Lukaku has been a failure of a signing is a fair criticism. He just hasn’t produced goals with the same frequency as he did during his time at Goodison Park. However, it would be legitimately reckless for United to give up on Lukaku so soon. He is still only 25 years old, and it isn’t like Lukaku is the only player that struggled with his form under the watch of Mourinho.

Look at the other world class players that have seen their production tail off since coming to Old Trafford. Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez are a couple of excellent examples. Pogba’s recent form in particular makes a strong case for not giving up on Lukaku quite yet. After essentially being exiled from the side with Mourinho in charge, Pogba has come back into the team with Solskjaer at the helm.

Pogba was playing out of position under Mourinho. Rather than sitting deep in a defensive position in the midfield, Pogba showed with France at the World Cup that he can be a game-changer in an attacking role. Rather than actually putting the player in position to succeed, however, Mourinho stuck to his guns. It is one of the many decisions that wound up getting him sacked at Old Trafford.

Pogba picked up 2 assists in his first game under Solskjaer before scoring twice in the Red Devils’ 3-1 triumph over Huddersfield on Boxing Day. Solskjaer has instilled a new confidence in the Frenchman, and I see little reason to believe the manager cannot have a similar impact on Lukaku, who is a similarly temperamental player. When he is feeling confident, Lukaku is essentially unstoppable with the ball at his feet in front of goal.

Lukaku didn’t score all of those goals for Everton and with Belgium by accident. We have seen enough of him to know that he is a real talent, and he just needs to be utilized properly. The fact that Lukaku hasn’t lived up to expectations isn’t entirely his fault.

Are there too many mouths to feed? It’s possible. Between Lukaku, Pogba, Sanchez, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford, there are an awful lot of players with their eyes on scoring goals. That said, Pogba playing in a more attacking role should make everybody else’s job a little bit easier. I expect Lukaku to see an uptick in goal scoring now that he will have Pogba just behind him picking out passes and generating opportunities in front of goal.

Lukaku deserves the chance to show what he’s made of with a more forward-thinking manager leading the charge. Jose Mourinho obviously was not the right man for the job. It is still too early to say that Solskjaer is what the team were looking for, but the early results have been nothing if not encouraging.

Lukaku should return to the side soon after being granted a recent leave. When he does, I expect the goals to start flowing again for the Belgian international.

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By Tim Opera

United’s light burned out after a gruelling conflict at the helm between former boss Jose Mourinho and a crop of his players, which led to the sack of the Portuguese boss, according to Goal.

First, it was his condescending statement that rolled out of his mouth during his time in Russia, against World Cup winner Paul Pogba that drew the battle line.

Pogba, on the other end, was steaming over his manager’s stinging words and remarked he couldn’t, and wouldn’t give him 100 percent on the field, if Mou didn’t trust him to produce the goods at United.

The Frenchman wasn’t the only one to take several painful hits from the Portuguese. Ivorian Eric Bailly was suddenly cropped out of Mourinho’s starting XI, despite his brilliant showoff last season. It is understood the Portuguese had lost trust in the sturdy defender and wouldn’t play him at the back.

Bailly was linked with a move away from Manchester United in the summer, with several English clubs including Arsenal and Liverpool backed by most reliable betting sites in the UK, as his most probable destination.

Despite managing to weave things back to normal with Pogba, there was still a faint taste of contention, rife and disrespect whenever both of them were in the same room.

The manager led us to believe he had sown his relationship with Pogba, since he handed him the vice-captaincy band to act as the club’s skipper during Antonio Valencia’s absence.

But Pogba’s reign in the job didn’t last long with Mourinho giving him the sack, and immediately sparking a full-fledged war.

It got messier, not just with Pogba but the rest of the squad. His backline leaked immensely, but the Portuguese blamed it on not getting the right targets for the role.

With the manager out, United feel there’s is a fresh sign of hope afterall when the club announced that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will take over the helm on interim basis.

There’re huge expectations over his appointment, following plenty of talks from pundits and former Red Devils applauding and approving his appointment.

United want to reestablish their old way of football, and fans expect Solskjaer to deliver the goods. However, they expect him to start from the root–their defence.

Mourinho never could get it right despite playing Chris Smalling and Lindelof. Fans would rather he gave the Ivorian a chance, paring him with the Swede. It could be their best bet in stringing a tighter backline ahead of the matches that will be coming thick and fast next campaign.

Lindelof and Bailly’s partnership could shake up things in the United’s backfield and perhaps be the springboard for their success this term. If Solskjaer gets it right, Ed Woodward, perhaps may not have to splurge on their backline afterall.

United tested the waters with Solskjaer’s first game and the Red Devils ran rally against Cardiff in a thrilling 5-1 game.

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