We Regret To Inform You That Manchester United Is Becoming Really Likable Under Ole Gunnar Solskjær
Manchester United has one of the largest fan bases in the world for any sports team. With that comes one of the largest anti-fan bases — fans who love nothing more than to see Man U lose.
But those Red Devils haters are finding it harder and harder to hate on this team since Ole Gunnar Solskjær took over for Jose Mourinho in December. And we’re not just talking about the team’s unbeaten run since the Special One was shown the door.
Manchester United fans will be ecstatic about the club’s run of eight straight wins dating back to OGS’ debut on Dec. 22. Only two of those wins were by a single goal and two of the last three actually came against good competition (well, as good as it gets in North London). Friday’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal was more reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson’s dominance over Arsene Wenger in Wenger’s later years than anything Mourinho was ever able to accomplish with the Red Devils.
While Paul Pogba has received most of the press from his change in form under Solskjær, a key figure in this recent run of form is Marcus Rashford, who has scored in his last four Premier League appearances.
Rashford is a delightful player to watch: young, enthusiastic and full of goals. What’s more, he may just be the best British dribbler we’ve seen in some time, as we saw against Bournemouth. Take, for example, this little piece of skill during warm-ups Friday at the Emirates against poor Fred.
Filthy. And the reaction of his teammates shows just how much fun United is having these days.
Then there’s Jesse Lingard, who many fans of opposing teams absolutely love to hate. He can be a bit of a punk on the pitch, but he’s proven to be a great guy off it.
On Sky Sports on Saturday, Lingard had a chance to win some Wimbledon fans £500 ($660) just by converting a penalty kick. His spot kick was saved, but Lingard met up with those fans in the parking lot later and gave them £600 cash out of his own pocket.
- Misses a penalty for £500 for the @AFCWimbledon fans...- Gives them £600 in the car park!
What a gesture from Jesse Lingard! pic.twitter.com/CC91R8mrbU
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 26, 2019
Now, £600 is nothing to a guy playing for Manchester United, but it means a lot to those fans, especially because they support Wimbledon, currently in last place in League One.
And we’ve yet to get to Pogba, who is often criticized by grumpy old men who think he should play like a combination of Zinedine Zidane, Claude Makélélé and Steven Gerrard every time he steps on the pitch and get angry when he tries to show some flair.
Pogba did something against Tottenham on Jan. 13 that fans (almost) everywhere will enjoy: rake Dele Alli with his studs and avoid a red card.
Pogba was only shown a yellow for a challenge I’m sure countless non-Spurs fans would have loved to have committed themselves.
Manchester United under Jose Mourinho was an easy team to hate (and a hard team to enjoy for Red Devils fans). United under Solskjær is a hard team to hate. The club is becoming as likable as young Liga MX star Jarochito.
Now, Man U fans are right up there with Liverpool fans as the most sensitive blokes around (you should’ve seen the outrage when we tried to point out Mo Salah likes to take dives like Neymar), so they’ll probably take this the wrong way. But we sincerely hate how much we’re beginning to like this United team.
Hopefully the Glazers do something stupid like hiring anyone but Ole Gunnar as full-time coach after the season, so balance is restored to the universe.