Former Man Utd boss Louis van Gaal has revealed that the only real difference between Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jose Mourinho is that the former is winning games.
The Norwegian tactician was appointed as interim boss in December, and has gone on to win 14 of his 19 games in charge.
That has reignited United’s campaign, as they now form part of the battle for a top-four finish in the Premier League and their Champions League hopes remain alive for now.
It’s in stark contract to what was seen in the latter stages of Mourinho’s tenure, as they were simply not good enough both in terms of performances and results.
Ultimately, Van Gaal isn’t convinced that Solskjaer has actually changed much since taking over, as he believes that the style of play is still the same, but the only difference is that results are now arriving.
“The coach after me [Mourinho] changed to park-the-bus tactics and played on the counter. Now there is another coach who parks the bus and plays on the counter. The main difference between Mourinho and Solskjaer is that Solskjaer is winning,” he told BBC Sport.
“I am not there but there does look to be a change and the atmosphere seems to be better. It is also true that Solskjaer has changed Paul Pogba’s position and put him into an area where he is much more important.
“But the way Manchester United are playing now is not the way Ferguson played. It is defensive, counter-attacking football. If you like it, you like it. If you think it is more exciting than my boring attacking, OK. But it is not my truth.”
It’s important to also acknowledge Van Gaal’s comments on atmosphere and Pogba, as Solskjaer has undoubtedly created a more positive environment at Old Trafford, beyond the squad too including with the fans.
Further, key individuals are now playing crucial roles, with Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Victor Lindelof all featuring heavily in their resurgence.
That should also earn Solskjaer credit as he has certainly pushed Man Utd back in the right direction, but in Van Gaal’s defence, he does make a valid point as if the performances under the current interim boss are assessed closely, the Red Devils have indeed played a counter-attacking style with the pace and movement of Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard causing havoc.
Results are what matter most, and it has been slightly more entertaining. In that sense, Solskjaer probably deserves a little more credit than he’s given here.