Peter Schmeichel has praised temporary Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for bringing back the club’s culture and identity through his work.
The Norwegian coach has only been at Old Trafford a little over three months since replacing Jose Mourinho on an interim basis, but the difference in performance and results has been notable.
Manchester United’s former goalkeeper has lauded Solskjaer for helping the club rediscover the rather nebulous notion of a team ‘culture’, before asserting that his ex-teammate is now the front runner for the position on a permanent basis.
“It’s been really good to have this Man United mentality, culture, identity back at the club. You only have to look at the results to see how important that has been,’’ Schmeichel told Sky Sports.
“You can argue it’s a free ride for him because he’s there on a short-term basis and he’s going to be evaluated for the job on a permanent basis.
“But you know he can go on and he can set his team free, go and attack, go and have fun, commit people forward and try to score goals.
“That’s a tiny bit easier when you have nothing to lose. If you lose a game you don’t lose your job because you are only there as it is now on a temporary basis. But he’s put himself as a front runner [for the permanent manager’s job] for sure, he has done incredibly well.”
Schmeichel was equally impressed with how Solskjaer dealt with adversity in the 0-0 draw with Liverpool, when United had to make three substitutions before half-time due to injuries to key players.
“As a manager, the way he reacted, the way he changed the team and regrouped and kept them going was brilliant.
“Playing Liverpool, even though it was Old Trafford, they are chasing the title and when you look back at that game it was just very unlucky we didn’t win it.
“There was a big chance at the end, Liverpool had zero chances. I thought Ole Gunnar Solskjaer really showed the world that he is a capable manager.”