Add ‘healing players quickly’ to list of things Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can do.
Hang on, what can’t he do!?
In what has been a superb few months for Manchester United on the pitch, the only thing which has hampered their caretaker manager is a huge injury list.
With 10 players missing for their heroic win at Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, the injury crisis is calming down a little.
Ahead of their clash against Arsenal on Sunday at the Emirates Stadium (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com), Solskjaer has revealed that at least three star players will return.
“Anthony [Martial] will be available and hopefully we will have Nemanja [Matic] and or Ander [Herrera] ready as well,” Solskjaer said. “So we’re looking better for it. They just need to have another couple of days training with the team. They’ve done well in their recovery work.”
Martial has been a star for Solskjaer, so getting him back is a huge boost, while Matic and Herrera were mainstays in central midfield before their injuries. With Paul Pogba returning from suspension, four big-time players will be fit and ready to face Arsenal in a massive battle for the top four as just one point separates the clubs in the table.
So, good news for the immediate future for United as they will be getting plenty of stars back on the pitch even if the likes of Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez are still out.
But what about Solskjaer’s future?
There had been confusion in the week as Molde revealed that he had signed a new contract with them before taking over as United’s new manager on a caretaker basis, but that statement was then deleted and the Norwegian coach cleared up the confusion.
“I am here to do my job,” Solskjaer said. “I am not here to get excited. With the contract issue – you cannot have two contracts when you are a manager. That contract [with Molde] was terminated and I am contracted to United until the end of June.”
Beyond June, Solskjaer has admitted he is already helping the club plan for preseason and which players will stay at Old Trafford next season and who could come in?
“We have looked into pre-season,” Solskjaer said. “We have also looked into players and hopefully the players that the club will sign will stay for many, many years. I love managing these boys and I love working here. As I am saying so many times I am just doing the best I can every single day, then if and when a decision is to be made, then we will see.”
At this point, as Dan Karell correctly said during the week here at PST, Solskjaer has earned the United job on a permanent basis. A top four finish, going beyond the UCL last eight and winning the FA Cup would be the icing on the cake. Even if none of that happens, he has shown he should get the job.