Jamie Redknapp thinks Manchester United can beat Arsenal and Chelsea to a top-four spot in the Premier League.
Since former United boss Jose Mourinho sacked following a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, United have maintained a 100% record under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Can Man Utd break the top four? Four things to know…
- United made their worst start to a Premier League campaign in 28 years under Mourinho.
- But since Solskjaer took over, United have won three out of three while scoring 12.
- United remain eight points behind Chelsea in fourth as things stand.
- But the Red Devils still have to play both the Blues and Arsenal, on whom they have a game in hand, again before the end of the season.
During Solksjaer’s first three games in charge, against Cardiff, Huddersfield and Bournemouth, the Red Devils have scored the same number of goals (12) as they managed during their previous seven under Mourinho.
This form has convinced Redknapp they can break the top four this season despite being eight points behind fourth-place Chelsea.
“Definitely. It’s a big ask, but the form they are in. I think the last thing Arsenal and Chelsea wanted to see is this kind of Manchester United,” Redknapp said, according to the Mirror.
“Chelsea are still red-hot favourites but United are right in the top-four equation and I think they can do it.”
One advantage United hold is that Chelsea and Arsenal must play each other before the month is out, meaning at least one is guaranteed to drop points.
Man Utd’s next five Premier League games: Newcastle (A), Spurs (A), Brighton (H), Burnley (H), Leicester (A)
Chelsea’s next five Premier League games: Southampton (H), Newcastle (H), Arsenal (A), Bournemouth (A), Huddersfield (H)
Arsenal’s next five Premier League games: West Ham (A), Arsenal (H), Cardiff (H), Man City (A), Huddersfield (A)
What are Man Utd doing differently under Solskjaer?
Even before United were blessed with the inimitable mind of Sir Alex Ferguson, the Red Devils were always famed for their free-flowing attacking football, flamboyant players and never-say-die spirit.
Since the great Scot departed the Old Trafford dugout, succeeding managers have attempted to impress their own methods at the club. During the five seasons since Sir Alex left, United have failed to recapture the Premier League title and have only finished in the top four twice including last year.
One of the problems is the club abandoned the tried and tested methods which had made them so successful over the past two decades. No one subverted United’s traditions more than Mourinho, who adopted a plodding and overly cautious approach that would be understandable for a lower league side attempting to cut down a giant in the FA Cup, but inappropriate for a side with United’s talents and budget.
Solskjaer recognised this issue. After his first game in charge, in which United thrashed Cardiff 5-1, Solskjaer told reporters: “Football is easy if you’ve got good players.”
The Norwegian not only recognises he has good players. He recognises their strengths, too.
Pogba, who struggled under Mourinho, is back playing on the left side of midfield, where he made such a name for himself at Juventus and Marcus Rashford is finally getting his big push as the club’s first-choice centre-forward. And it seems the whole team has been instructed to think “go forward” before anything else.
Pogba confirmed this following United’s 4-1 victory over Bournemouth on Sunday, telling reporters: “We want to attack. The manager wants to attack. That’s what we’re doing.
“Maybe we’ve just realised we’re Manchester United and we need to be at the top of the league. You see the reaction of the players. Everyone is enjoying themselves and that’s what we need.”