Former Manchester United defender and MUTV pundit David May has given Ole Gunner Solskjaer a huge vote of confidence after the Norwegian’s recent instalment as interim boss at Old Trafford.
“If you look at the teams United have played you’d expect any manager to come in and win those games. But Ole has done an unbelievable job, he really has.
"He’s transformed somewhere that was all doom and gloom into a dressing room that you can see is now enjoying their football.”
In fact, so impressed has May been that he’d very much be in favour of his ex-team mate being given the job on a permanent basis.
Solskjaer of course was brought in following the sacking of Jose Mourinho last month, a seemingly inevitable parting of the ways that finally ended a miserable period for the Reds that saw them plummet beyond the top six in the Premier League.
May doesn’t hold back in his condemnation of the Portuguese coach’s behaviour but equally is keen to look forward, rather than back.
“Towards the end it was all about Jose and what he had done in the past. It was all about his records. Manchester United managers have never done that and can you even imagine Sir Alex Ferguson walking down the touchline and holding up three fingers?
"It should all be about Man United and getting the right results. It’s not about managers or an individual. It’s about the club and the team.”
“But Jose has gone now. United are playing good, attacking football and everyone is enjoying themselves. It’s as if everybody’s game has risen fifteen per cent since Ole has come in.
"That can only be Ole’s influence and how he is. A cloud has been lifted off the stadium and people are happy and jovial. It’s great to see.”
One player who has certainly benefited from Mourinho’s departure is Paul Pogba who has looked reborn in recent weeks.
What can we expect from the uber-talented midfielder now that his problematic and fractious relationship with his temperamental gaffer is over?
“He should be running games now and stamping his authority on them and I think in the last few games we’re starting to see a different side to him.
"He’s allowed to go forward and get in the box; he’s creating chances and scoring goals. He could be the best in the Premier League in the next couple of seasons certainly.”
Further forward another potentially world class star has been given a new lease of life under the encouragement of Solskjaer, scoring twice for good measure. May – a Champions League winner for the club back in 1999 - is clearly delighted.
“Marcus Rashford, over the last five games, has been phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal. As much as he’s got great speed and technical ability he’s also started to lead the line better.
"He links the game very well and plays in the channels and it’s a nightmare to play against those type of players especially if they have pace like Marcus has.
"He has been transformed over the last five games. Over the next ten years he’s going to be an unbelievable player. You know that now, you can see it.”
United have unquestionably rediscovered their feel-good factor of late yet concerns persist at the back with a defence that has long struggled for consistency in form, fitness and personnel.
May emphasises the importance for the new regime to settle on an established centre-back pairing and, in his learned opinion, one man stands out as an automatic pick.
“This season Victor (Lindelof) has matured and now I’d say he is Man United’s best centre-half. Phil Jones too has a great chance to establish himself as one of Ole’s first choice pairing.
"Especially now that Bailly is out for three games after his stupidity at getting sent off when we were 4-1 up – what’s going through his mind there? I still think Bailly can be very naïve at times. So it’s Jones or Smalling to partner Victor for me.”
Even so, the need for the Mancunian giants to seriously invest in a significant upgrade on their present options is obvious to one and all.
Indeed so clear is their need the 48 year old believes they should take a leaf out of their rivals’ books and secure the services of Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly – to use a prominent example from the gossip columns – regardless of cost.
“If you look at United over the last god knows how many years they’ve always gone out and broke transfer records if need be. They did with Rio, Di Maria, Pogba, Lukaku.
"They allegedly pay Sanchez half a million a week. If you want the best players then you have to pay top money for them. City do it. Liverpool did it with Van Dijk and just look at the transformation.
"They spent seventy million on a goalkeeper which is a hell of a lot of money but what that gets you back is guaranteed Champions League football and the possibility of winning the Premier League.”
For now though Spurs await this weekend, a game that May insists is the first real test of his friend’s short tenure in charge of the multiple champions. It’s a game he claims will be won or lost in midfield, with Pogba’s performance against Dele Alli key.
“It will be a hell of a battle with Eriksen in there too but United are on the up, won five on the bounce, and they’re full of confidence. It will be a really interesting match to see how far United have come from Jose to Ole.”
David May's Quickfire Questions
Score prediction for Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United?
Who Will Win The Premier League?
Manchester City. I can’t say Liverpool.
Who Will Win The Champions League?