Ole: We’ll keep altering our tactical set-up

Friday 23 October 2020 22:30

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said Manchester United’s tactical set-up will remain fluid throughout this season, and will be influenced by several factors, including the opposition.

The boss has tended to deploy a 4-2-3-1 shape for the majority of this calendar year, but opted to play with a three-man defence in the 2-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

It’s a system United’s players know and Ole used it on several occasions last term.

It was deployed when we last played Chelsea in the league, when the Reds ran out 2-0 winners at Stamford Bridge in February and, ahead of the next meeting with the London club on Saturday, Ole was quizzed on what shape he feels best suits United.
“I think as a coach, you want a foundation to play from and the players want to have a consistency in their instructions and that we are a little bit ahead of the next situation,” he told reporters, in the second half of Friday’s pre-match press conference. 

“But with the players we’ve got, sometimes we can swap and change a little bit and we felt, of course with the injuries that we had and with the individuals that we met, that was the right way of going [against PSG]. 

“We gave a debut to Alex [Telles]; Axel [Tuanzebe] was back again, so we didn’t think twice about that really and it gives us flexibility. There might be times later on in the season where we play this again, or now, or back to the back four. With the signings we’ve made, we’ve got more options,” he added.
After a disappointing start to the campaign, Ole is hopeful that back-to-back victories over Newcastle United and PSG could kickstart the Reds’ season.

But, as the boss explained, the beginning to the 2020/21 term has felt particularly odd for all sides.

“Well, the league this season has started very strangely, and it is a very strange atmosphere in the stadiums,” he explained via video link.

“It’s not the same, it’s not like the way it used to be. Without the fans it’s more sterile. After the win against PSG, it’s almost like we’ve been to the training ground and done well in training. The edge is missing.

“For me, now we need consistency. We’ve been too up and down; we need to address the home form and for me, the next week is a great test for us because we all remember what happened after the last time we beat PSG: the response wasn’t the greatest, was it? It’s a chance for our players and also for the staff to show that we’ve moved on from that time.”

Fans all over the world can now buy a special digital version of the matchday programme United Review for the visit of Chelsea, at the introductory price of 99p. It is available to pre-order now and will be live this evening in advance of the Saturday matchday. Click here to order.