Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not be as highly regarded tactically as his rival Thomas Tuchel, but he has demonstrated that he is a coach who knows what he is doing on the sidelines, and he has demonstrated on several occasions this season that he is better than Thomas Tuchel in at least one tactical area:
Thomas Tuchel is a very good coach who likes to carve out ideas that will win a match. In fact, this season, Chelsea have started very strong in 80% of their matches recently, and have equally won them. So, tactically, Thomas Tuchel has not been found wanting in this area. But in the last two games, against Manchester City and Juventus, a flaw was exposed. Tuchel failed to make the needed substitutions and formation setup that could have won the game. In my opinion, Thomas Tuchel ran out of ideas to turn a potential losing position around.
The moment Chelsea conceded a goal in the second half, he lost the game. There was nothing spectacular, no bite from Chelsea in either match and a desire from both the coach and the team to turn things around. And both matches ended in a 1-0 loss for Chelsea.
In contrast, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has, on several occasions this season, made substitutions that have directly impacted on the result of the match.
We noticed this against West Ham United at the London Stadium, where Manchester United came from behind to defeat West Ham 2-1 in the final minutes of the encounter. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, having observed the game from the sidelines, brought in Jesse Lingard in the 73rd minute for Paul Pogba, who had already lost his momentum. And before long, he scored the winner for Manchester United and sealed the three points.
It turns out that Jesse Lingard's substitution would be the fuel that Cristiano Ronaldo needed to produce his late strike to seal the much needed three points in a very difficult encounter.
The one time that his substitution affected a game negatively was in the first UCL tie against Young Boys, where he substituted Ronaldo off for Jesse Lingard and Lingard made a mistake that led to Man UTD conceding a late goal.
In all these cases, his substitutions had an impact on the matches, and this shows that when it comes to analysing a game and making the needed substitution, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is way ahead of Thomas Tuchel.
Image credit: Evening Standard/ Manchester Evening News/ The Sun/ Blame Football/ We all follow United.
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