Gary Neville: What Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has changed at Man United
The Man United legend opens up about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's impact at Old Trafford this season
Gary Neville has praised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for changing the profile of player in the Manchester United team.
The Red Devils interim manager has moved away from some tried and tested favourites of his predecessor, Jose Mourinho.
Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku have struggled to hold down a regular starting spot since the Norwegian’s appointment.
Fellaini, in particular, was seen as a emblem of Mourinho’s robotic approach to his games in charge of Manchester United during his two-and-a-half year reign.
Solskjaer led Manchester United to five successive Premier League victories since taking over from Mourinho last month ahead of Saturday’s home clash against Brighton.
The Red Devils were 1-0 winners against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley last weekend but Solskjaer still persevered with an attacking team.
The move paid dividends after Marcus Rashford scored in the 44th minute to seal three points at Wembley.
Former Manchester United defender Neville believes Solskjaer has changed the type of player in the Red Devils team.
“Over the last few weeks, since Manchester United appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, questions have been asked,” Neville told his Sky Sports podcast.
“Initially it was despair. If you remember when Jose Mourinho was sacked the players were all over the place and he restored what would be a little bit of happiness in that first week.
“People said there were smiles around the place again. As the weeks have gone on you’ve seen more of his imprint on the team in terms of the attacking play and the runs forward.
“The profile of the team has changed. We talked about it during commentary, gone are Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku from the starting line-up. I said a few years ago on Monday Night Football when Mata was signed that he was a wonderful player, but I thought it was a breach of philosophy.
“I didn’t think he fitted the profile of a Manchester United player.
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is picking the profile of player Manchester United need and that’s players who have the energy to get from box to box quickly and counter-attack with quality. You’ve seen that in the last few weeks.”
Manchester United – who travel to Arsenal in the FA Cup on Friday – haven’t won the Premier League title since 2013 and have regressed since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement five and a half years ago.
The Red Devils haven’t challenged for the Premier League title since Ferguson despite appointing big-name managers such as Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.