Two games, two high profile opponents. One marking return of former manager. Other the blood thirst quenching derby. With the form that Manchester has been exhibiting, bookies were checking odds of when Ole will be sacked.
But quite the contrary. Right time, for the right games, the right players returned from injury.
The Scott – Fred midfield axis following the injury of Pogba is turning to threaten a spot for the Frenchman. The grit and physical attributes of Scott, combined with the creative quick feet of Fred is the engine that runs United.
The ferocious line splitting passing that has been effervescent in the last two games is something that has not been seen in the team for the entire season.
Rashford has been hitting the net more often than not, and is seen to take all criticism in his stride and making the left wing a place of his own. Daniel James just simply refuses to drop standards since his first game at United. Lingard for all his criticism is the perfect 10 as he with his impeccable first touch gets the ball rolling in the centre.
So what really changed for this team? Did it require a former manager to be the trigger to restore former glory? Well credits to Ole, cause this week, like the good old days, Manchester United is giving me the goosebumps just like the yester years.
The change was imminent, demanding. The targets weren’t met. The football was sleep inducing. The manager defensive and unapologetic. We had to move on. For all the charisma in the press and off the field with his tongue in cheek English, van Gaal failed abysmally in two years.
The numerous injuries that were part of the regimen packed with embalming a uniquely boring defensive possession football with absolute nothing in counter attacking, a season which saw many fans like me around the world tune in to the most boring first 45’s ever this season. Burst of energy in the first ten minutes followed by tepid side and backwards passing.
Records were broken. None went in favor of united. Records of decades, teams who never even had a sniff in the Theatre walked away with first time glory. Midway through the season as Christmas approached, the form was so awful that tolerating van Gaal was turning out to be out of good will and club tradition more than anything.
As Jose walked in today officially realizing a much desired role of his, he brings in a charismatic persona that thrives on victory. Apart from his off field cameos, his endless desire to enjoy success will bring back life into a club of such tradition that seems to be spiralling into an abyss in the last three years. As he rightly quoted, let’s rather not remember the last three years. Let’s remember the Manchester United we know.