Michael Carrick lavishes praise on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The Solksjaer effect.
As we have previously mentioned several times, things are looking up at Manchester United. Since José Mourinho's dismissal in December, and Solskjaer's appointment, they have won all five matches.
Granted, they have all come against significantly inferior opposition, but the contrast is still noticeable. The players finally seem to be having fun, as do the fans, who are enjoying watching a more expansive style of play.
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) January 7, 2019
Most notably, Paul Pogba is resembling the player we all know he can be, having underwhelmed hugely under José Mourinho.
While there are a number of factors at play here, the most important is undoubtedly the change in coaching staff. The current trio of Solskjaer, Michael Carrick and Mike Phelan - who was Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant - have quickly detoxified the dressing room and harnessed a happy environment.
Speaking from their warm-weather training camp in Dubai this week, Carrick testifies to that, pointing to Solskjaer as the prime factor.
"It’s fantastic. It allows us to train in a way where you probably can’t do it at home, at this moment, with it being so cold," Carrick said.
"We can work on different things. When it’s freezing cold at home, you’ve got to keep on the move and you don’t want the lads standing around too much.
"So here we’ll work hard, especially over the next few days, and prepare for Sunday, but it allows us to maybe spend a little bit more time on the training ground and go into a little bit more detail, which we need at this moment.
"As you can imagine, it’s quite a happy camp. When you’re winning football matches, you can’t put a price on the feeling that gives you, and the confidence and the belief.
"You almost sense a calmness when you’re winning games. It’s great to see the lads enjoying themselves. The football’s flowing, the training’s good, they’re bouncing around the place, and it’s nice to see."
Asked about Solskjaer’s impact, Carrick replied: "Ole’s got that personality that rubs off on everybody, he’s so positive, he’s so upbeat all the time.
"I think you can see that rubbing off on individuals, and that goes a long way to bringing the best out of the players."
United face Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley this coming weekend, which will be Solskjaer's first real test as manager. Then, we will find out whether this improved squad harmony has had enough of an effect to bring the club back to where they belong - able to properly compete with the big guns.
I mean, lads, it's Tottenham.