Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over at Man Utd after Jose Mourinho was relieved of his duties just before Christmas and the Norwegian former Red-Devils striker was given the remit of bringing the smiles back onto the players’ faces like Paul Pogba and to get the team playing the type of attacking football which is in the club’s DNA from when Sir Matt Busby’s “Busby Babes” laid down the blueprint.
Solskjaer has certainly come through on his end of the bargain by getting so much more from Paul Pogba by changing his position and allowing the players to express themselves.
The next fixture for the Red-Devils comes this Saturday lunchtime in the Emirates FA Cup as United take on Reading as they did back in 2017 when they beat Reading under former United centre-back Jaap Stam. Sir Alex Ferguson famously admitted that selling the Dutchman was his greatest mistake following the publication of Stam’s autobiography which had some revelations that irked Sir Alex.
So far Ole has delivered 4 wins beating Cardiff away 5-1, Huddersfield 3-1 and Bournemouth 4-1 both at home before travelling to Newcastle last night where they beat Rafa Benitez’s well organised side 2-0 on the back of goals from Lukaku and Rashford so any keen football betting types who placed accumulator bets or “accas” on 4 United wins will be very happy and will likely fancy a bet on United knocking Reading (managed these days by Portuguese boss José Manuel Gomes) out of the FA Cup.
Reading will have nothing to lose when they visit Old Trafford on Saturday as they are currently in the relegation zone in the Championship sitting in 23rd place, 5 points away from safety, so they will throw everything they have at United knowing how Derby County knocked United out of the Carabao Cup earlier in the season by playing attacking football.
United however are a different animal under Solskjaer with even defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic playing a more attacking brand of football as the interim boss has got all his players looking to move the ball forward as fast as possible as opposed to the sideways passes so often made by players under Mourinho.
United already are a much better team under their interim manager and Ole has already said that he wants to stay on as permanent manager but the tougher tests like the upcoming games against Tottenham and the fixtures against their top rivals will ultimately determine his fate.
United certainly seem to be going in the right direction as they have received high praise from the likes of Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville and the bookies are clearly impressed by Solskjaer’s work as the best odds on a United top 4 finish before the Bournemouth game were 11/2 but now after 2 more wins over the Cherries and over Newcastle last night SkyBet are offering the Red-Devils at 7-2 to finish in the top 4.
United are massive favourites at 1/8 to beat Reading while you can get a draw at 19/2 and a Reading win at 28/1 so clearly the bookmakers like the pundits think Manchester United are on a very hot streak right now.