How Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has helped Manchester United rediscover their spirit

Following the inevitable news that Old Trafford fan favourite, Solskjaer was appointed as the permanent successor of Jose Mourinho, we take a look at the stats from a revived Manchester United side since his arrival in December.

More points than any other Premier League team

Numbers don’t lie and United have taken more points than any other Premier League team since the 46-year-old’s arrival, including title chasers Manchester City and Liverpool.

The Red Devils struggled for form at the start of the season, returning only 26 points from their first 17 games under Mourinho, the club’s worst start to a Premier League season which eventually led to the Portuguese’s dismissal.

Trouble: United conceded 29 goals in the first 17 games, the worst in the club’s history. []

36 points from 14 games shows the positive impact since Solskjaer took over the reins at Old Trafford, highlighting the boost of morale compared to the derisory viewing under Mourinho at the start of the 2018-19 campaign.

Pogba, Rashford and Lukaku

The turnaround in results is the product of restoring confidence to a talented group of players whose confidence was at an all time low in the latter stage of the Mourinho era.

United’s three top scorers, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku have looked devastating under the influence of Solskjaer, who was prolific himself during his 11-year tenure at Old Trafford.

Despite featuring fewer times, World Cup winner Pogba has scored nearly twice as many goals, registered three more assists, has almost halved his minutes per goal contribution and has nearly doubled his goal involvements from nine to 16.

Pogba has been influential since Solskjaer’s arrival. []

Lukaku seems to have re-discovered his form earlier in his career, with the Belgian international scoring nine times under the Norwegian, compared to only six for Mourinho this term.

A vital brace against Paris Saint Germain in the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16 highlights the forward’s purple patch, with his minutes per goal ratio also being slashed from 234 to 85.

Lukaku celebrates after giving Manchester United the lead at Parc De Princes. []

The pattern continues with Rashford, with the 21-year-old actually featuring more under Solskjaer than he did with Mourinho, with the England star doubling his goal tally. The forward scored four goals for the latter, but has now scored nine goals for the Norwegian.

The in-form striker has been used as a typical central striker rather than out wide, a role Rashford clearly flourishes in with his frightening pace and raw technique.

It’s no doubt the forward has become crucial for United after booking the Red Devils’ place in the last eight of the Champions League following his last-gasp penalty against PSG.

Rashford opens the scoring against Watford on Saturday. []

A fans voice:

Following the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, we spoke to a supporter on thoughts about the news:

“I’m fully behind the appointment, I think everyone who sits around me is the same so it was great news. I think there would’ve been a mass walkout if he wasn’t appointed.

“The team have got behind him, hopefully he will be given a few quid in the transfer market that he can use to improve the squad and bring in a few world class players.

“I think the players we sign should be his decision, it’s his squad so he should have the final say. We should have a technical director rather than having a businessman who knows nothing about football.”

Brian Houten – Manchester United supporter’s group