Ole Gunnar Solskjaer switched up Manchester United’s weekly routine for a trip down memory lane ahead of the critical derby match against Manchester City.
Not one to usually train the morning of a match, Solskjaer brought the Manchester United to its old training ground The Cliff for a light session before Wednesday’s derby, a ground that has not been used with regularity since the current Carrington facility was opened in 2002.
The hope is clearly to energize the squad with a dash of nostalgia, highlighting the importance of the game to the fans and the history of the club. The training ground is where Solskjaer himself came into the club as a player in 1996, ultimately spending 11 seasons in Manchester United red.
Manchester United has fallen on tough times of late, with Solskjaer’s dream start to his managerial tenure a thing of the past. They have lost three of their last five in Premier League play, including a drubbing against Everton last time out that saw them fail to take advantage of slips by other clubs in the Champions League race.
The match against Manchester City could see the club not only have a major say in the title race, but also gain ground on the other teams like Arsenal, Chelsea, and Spurs all battling for the final Champions League spots. The Red Devils are bringing up the rear of the pack, but they have a game in hand on Spurs and Chelsea, meaning points against the title favorites would be worth their weight in gold.
Solskjaer has been all-in on the nostalgia surrounding the history of Manchester United since joining as interim boss, and while he was praised for the approach while the club was winning match after match to begin his tenure, the reaction to his latest move was mixed on social media. Many admitted they were growing weary of the constant pounding of the club’s history, wishing instead for Solskjaer to focus a bit more on the present.
Manchester United is seen as massive underdogs, given as long as 6/1 odds by major betting outlets like MarathonBet, Coral, and BetFair, their longest-ever odds for a home Premier League in club history. While a loss wouldn’t necessarily be season-breaking, Solskjaer must avoid an embarrassing result that could have reverberations beyond just the Premier League table, looking to prove they are still competitive on the field with the title challengers.