Ole's Season Review 2018/19

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by OohAahMartial, May 16, 2019.

  1. May 16, 2019
    #1

    OohAahMartial Full Member

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    PART 1
    Looking back over these last six months in charge of United, what have you learned the most about yourself?

    “I’ve learned that I don’t like losing. I like winning. We started off fantastically. The boys were unbelievable when I came in. We were positive. We won games. The whole group gelled together and I enjoyed winning but I know that football is hard. You can’t just expect everything to go that way and the reality hit us. We are in a league with loads of very good teams and, to be at our top [level], we need to be 100 per cent focused. We came into some games really, really focused with the full team and I thought that was fantastic. Then you learn a lot when you go through tough times and think about who can we build this team around, and who we think is going to take the next step because we need to go to the next level.“

    You’ve been a manager at other clubs, but have you come across new situations here in terms of dealing with players?
    “Yeah, it’s a big change but they’re still human beings. More talented human beings and footballers than I’ve ever worked with. I’ve been a fan for so many years, back home in Norway and in Cardiff as well, so to be able to work with and get to know them, speak to them every day, has been an eye-opener for me. They’re still top lads and want to improve and learn. But human beings also lose confidence when things are going wrong. It is the same as the Norwegian ones and the same as at Cardiff. We have to work with them every day and guide them, help them and that’s what we’re doing.”

    Is losing worse as a manager than it was as a player?
    “Yeah, losing is 100 per cent worse as a manager! Oh, of course, you look at yourself all the time as a manager. Should I have picked a different team or different tactics? Was the training week not the best? Everything goes through your mind. When I was a player, you had another game and soon just thought ‘I’ve got to listen to the manager and do my job’. It’s so different but I learned early on in my career to move on quickly. If you’re going to think about this in five years’ time then, okay, spend time on it. If you’re not going to think about it in five years’ time, flush it and move on.”

    You’ve been full of praise for all your coaches Michael Carrick, Kieran McKenna, Mark Dempsey and Mike Phelan, who is now your assistant manager. How has it been working with them?
    “At 7.30am in the morning when I drive in, in the first few weeks, I thought I’ll be early and one of the first here. But I look up through the window and Michael, Kieran and Demps are sitting there! Mike has got a little bit further to drive but, once he’s here at 8.30am, we’re all there sat discussing things. We are a team. We bounce things off each other and have each got different qualities, so I’m so happy to have this team around me. With the experience of Mike, he’s been here with the gaffer when he was here and been a player. Michael has been a player and had some fantastic managers in Jose, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Sir Alex. I’m so fortunate to work together so we can all learn from each other.”

    Mike has now got a three-year contract to be your assistant…
    “I’m very pleased. When Ed [Woodward] rang me in December, I hadn’t spoken to Mike but I spoke to him once when I was at Cardiff. He was out of a job and we spoke for an hour or two there. When I got the job, I was quickly thinking ‘what do I need for help?’ and Mike Phelan was my first port of call. I couldn’t get hold of him, apparently he was at a coaching session at Burnley College, and I didn’t get hold of him until seven or eight hours later. Since I got the first call, there were a few hours of thinking ‘what if he doesn’t want to come’ as he was first choice. He’s such a knowledgeable and likeable lad – I can’t say lad as he’s so much older than me! To have played under him as well and working with him now, this team is so important to me. I said to Ed we need to make sure after he gave me my job full-time that we get Mike with us.”

    Is there more good news on the coaching front with Michael, Kieran and Mark?
    “They are all going to stay. I think that’s important, that we keep that team going forward. We do bounce off each other and they are some excellent coaches. Kieran, with his 32 years of age, you’d think he’s had 32 years in coaching. Demps – I’ve worked with him now since 2011 when I moved back to Norway, he came with me to Molde. He’s a Manchester United lad through and through, he came through with Norman Whiteside and Mark Hughes in that youth team. I think he was captain and he played once for the first team. He knows what this means. Michael – what can I say that no-one else knows about Michael? When he came in, it was my last season as a player so I played with him for one year. He’s a personality I can really connect with.”

    Looking back at the season, was there a specific match or performance that sticks in your mind?
    “We had highlights and some lowlights throughout. But of course when you start off at Cardiff, it’s almost written in the stars that it’s going to be the first game. We score five goals and you can see the team with energy and forward movement, and think ‘wow these are some talented players and I can’t wait to work with this group’. Then there was Tottenham away, Arsenal away in the cup and Chelsea away in the cup - some fantastic away performances. We just need to get that consistency at home, being able to win games and dominating more games. I think we’ve been fantastic with counter-attacking football but must improve on dominating more games. The last period has been difficult but that doesn’t mean the team or players have become any worse. We’ve just found it hard. It’s been a long, emotional season for them physically, as well as emotionally. When you lose your manager halfway through the season, it’s not easy for the players.”

    How different is the Premier League compared to when you played in it?
    “Massively. There are different playing styles, more teams playing more continental styles and a competitiveness to the league. It’s a massive difference, we’ve got six teams who would say ‘we can challenge for trophies’ and it used to be one or two, with us when Arsenal or Chelsea were challenging when I played. Leicester won the league, Everton are challenging and there are 10 teams who could qualify for Europe. You can see by City winning the league and possibly a domestic Treble, maybe to Liverpool and Spurs in the Champions League final, and Arsenal and Chelsea in the Europa League final, that we’re competing against the best clubs in the world. That’s a challenge we won’t take lightly. It’s a great challenge for this club, the biggest and best club in the world.”

    You are such an optimistic person - why is that?
    “I’ve always been an optimist. As a striker, you have to be an optimist. Defenders, like keepers, have to be pessimists. I’ve always lived off defenders making mistakes and being positive in my movement, looking for chances to score a goal. I have to say, throughout my life, I’ve always tried to see possibilities in situations. Next year we’re out of the Champions League and, yeah, we’re in the Europa League which, last time we were in it, we had success and won it with Jose and his team. That’s another possibility to win a trophy next year. Of course there are going to be chances for other players and that’s the way I’ve always been. I was injured. I fractured my cheekbone and thought I could work on different things. It’s just my nature. I don’t like to be too negative or hard on myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m probably harder on myself and my family than anyone else but you still have to be an optimist.”

    One undoubted positive has been the support of our fans, both at Old Trafford and away from home. How impressed have you been by them?
    “Very! I played 11 years, have been coach and manager here, and they are unbelievable. I played with some foreign players and some we have now are used to different cultures. When there are bad times, rough times, fans can really hammer the players but they don’t. They understand football. They know football and know you don’t just walk into a shop and buy a trophy. You’ve got to earn it. They support us. We need their support and it’s been unbelievable for how many years I’ve been with the club now. I’d been back home for eight years and every time they sang my song, I’d say to the kids, listen they’re singing about your dad. It’s fantastic. They don’t sing it, no. I think they’re fed up with it but they’re big Manchester United supporters.”

    PART 2
    Youngsters have been training with you for some time, with Tahith Chong, James Garner, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood also playing for the seniors. So how exciting a time is it for them?

    “Yeah, part of being here at this club is you know you’ll get a chance when you work as hard as they do and have the talent they have. Our fans will have seen enough of them, knowing these can be a part of our future.”

    You see them in training all the time, but for the fans is the pre-season campaign an important time to see their talent?
    “Yeah, they know deep down it’s engrained in our history and tradition. They will get a chance and know they get the backing from the supporters. With that comes expectation because of the media and social media now, because everything is so blown out of proportion with the expectation. Young players are important for us, as a staff we must manage them correctly.”

    Is there a part of you that thinks it would be nice for them to go on loan, but you don't want them to go?
    “I have to say it will nice for them to get a full season somewhere and play, but then again maybe the best place to be is here, training with the best players in the world. In this environment we’ve got a history of making them the best, but we’ve got loads of good examples of players being out for a year and coming back as men. Let’s see what we decide with these boys, but I can see most of them staying here and getting their chances next year.”

    Will the players returning from successful loans come under any consideration – Dean Henderson and Axel Tuanzebe have done particularly well, have you been keeping tabs on them?
    “Yeah I have. Hopefully, now Axel can get to the play-off final and play well. Obviously, he’s had a couple of injuries but he’s a boy I can’t wait to see in pre-season for us next year. Let’s see what we do with Dean. He’s obviously won promotion with Sheffield United and that’s been fantastic for him. If he plays a year in the Premier League for them, it might be the best thing.”

    Of course you’re very busy with the first team, but you’ve always taken time to watch the youngsters. Is that something that’s important to you?
    “Yeah, I love it. I love to see the kids expressing themselves. I want to see it at Old Trafford when they get there, to see who expresses themselves in the right way. Not showboating. It’s a fine balance when you’re a young kid, you know. It’s not down to me to base my judgement on a couple of games but sometimes if you’re 5-0 up or 1-0 down, I want to see them do the same thing. The right thing! It’s not about them but the right thing for the team. If you’ve got it at 16 or 17, you will have it when you get into the first team.”

    What qualities make a player who has come through our Academy different, and are they 'United' people?
    “Yeah, they are 'United'. You can hear from so many other coaches around about players who came through the system. They’re proper people, hard-working and, of course, they are talented. You don’t get picked by Manchester United unless you’ve got talent. Some just don't make it at Man United but there are many, many players... you know that we’ve had Corry [Evans], I played with Jonny [Evans], and they are a testament to their own families and also Manchester United because they’ve had great careers.”

    A few years ago, before you were United manager, you posted a picture about Marcus Rashford on social media when he scored a goal…
    “I don't tweet a lot but I had to tweet a picture of my daughter’s shirt. I said get me the shirt as I have to get this one out due to the magnitude of the game as well, against Liverpool. I was excited. When you work with these kids and see them coming through, they’re humble and hard working. By coincidence, I actually met Jesse, Andreas and Marcus in the corridor after they beat Young Boys in the Champions League. I met them and spoke to them briefly, and I could see Marcus was down because he’d missed a couple of chances. I said: ‘You’ll be fine, relax, you’re snatching at things’. Six weeks later, I’m working with him so it was very, very strange.”

    After your appointment, you had to leave your family back at home in Norway - that must have been difficult for you? And are you looking to get the family unit back together in Manchester this summer?
    “Of course, it’s very hard to live apart. With the schools back home, they've been great when they’ve had a couple of weeks off and of course there have been some half-terms. I’ve not been on my own too much but it’s difficult. My eldest is 18, my youngest is 10, so I’m used to having them around. It’s similar to when I was at Cardiff, to be fair, and the first five or six months I worked there. I am focused on work and you get that tunnel vision. When you can go back to your family it’s so much easier to relax and be yourself again.”

    Have your older children got fond memories of when you left United as a player?
    “They’ve got some great friends here. Noah remembers me playing because I think he was six when I came back after my injury and seven when I had to retire. Karna probably won’t remember but she’s got some great friends here. They are are excited, of course, and this is an exciting time for us as a family.”

    Will you manage to get a decent break this summer?
    “There’s no such thing as a break from football! I will help them [the children] finish their exams and go back to Norway. But of course there is the summer ahead when we’ll try to sign some players. But I will try to get a holiday somewhere, maybe a 10-day break away from Norway and England.”

    When United fans come up to you, do you get a chance to talk to them?
    “It’s changed a lot, I have to say, but in a good way. I’ve had so many people stopping me and talking football with me. Being a player back then, it was so much easier to go incognito but at the moment I’ve noticed that there is a big difference. I’ve noticed the club is even becoming bigger and bigger, and bigger! And the media attention now as the manager means that every time I go to do my grocery shopping, just outside my flat, every time there are photographers there.“

    On a personal level you have enjoyed living back in Manchester, but how much has it changed since you were last living here?
    “Of course the club has just grown and grown, and become even bigger. You don’t really believe that because I left the biggest and best club in the world. And now when I’ve come back it’s even bigger. But Manchester, I’ve always enjoyed living here. It’s not too big for me. I’m from a small town back home so the size of Manchester is just perfect. The weather is not too bad. I’m even used to the rain.”

    Would you say you are an adopted Mancunian now?
    “I am. You know I’ve lived here 15 years now. There are some people saying that my accent is a bit Manc, and it’s coming back!”

    PART 3
    Looking ahead, how much are you looking forward to the pre-season training camp and matches?
    “I can’t wait because it’s a fresh start. We set targets, aligning our ambitions and we’ll work together and agree certain principles. It’s always a massive month, or six weeks, that we have together to agree on how we’re going to do things to set the culture right. Of course we’re going to Australia [and Asia] to see the fans there, and have great games against Leeds, Tottenham, and Inter, and then AC Milan when we come back. So it’ll be great and I can’t wait. It’s time for us to put some principles in place, without the results business and without the pressure of results. When I came here, Ed rang me and said get the smiles back on their faces and get them enjoying their football, get a style of football, but in the pre-season you don’t play for points like in December, January and February.”

    What is the number one priority for you during pre-season?
    “We want to get everyone fit for when the season starts. We don’t want to lose anyone with injuries. But there are a certain set of principles to say ‘this is the way we want to play’ and we can agree on, and find a system we feel comfortable in and just go from there.”

    How much are you looking forward to seeing those fans on the other side of the world?
    “I’ve always spoken about them. It’s humbling when you travel around the world, seeing the fans and how much of a difference to their lives we can make by being out there, by playing well and by winning. We know that we’ve got a great responsibility at this club.”

    You visited China in the summer of ’99 after winning the Treble. Do you have any fond memories of that trip?
    “Yeah that’s the first time I got an association with UNICEF, so from then I became a UNICEF ambassador. That connection there is the thing I remember most from that trip, actually. I can’t remember which games we played. As a player or a coach, you don’t see a lot. You’re just focused on training and going back to the hotel, sleeping and eating, preparing for the next one. The more special things are things like the connection with UNICEF.”

    In terms of transfers, what qualities do you feel would make an ideal future player at this club?
    “We’ve touched upon it. We’ve tried to educate our players and our kids to be proper people. In my view, the best players have always been the best people. You have to have that value system and a certain kind of attitude about you to make a Man United player. You have got to have the qualities and our fans want to see exciting players. Of course we want to get up from our seats. We want to see defenders who defend like they're doing it for their lives - that’s the most important thing. When we go to press with Jesse and Marcus, in the games against Barcelona, PSG, Liverpool and Chelsea, when we start these games, our fans clap a striker making a tackle. It’s always been in our culture. You have to have that work ethic and we’re scouting the market, trying to find the right ones.”

    Does it excite you to be at the head of this rebuilding process?
    “Yeah, of course! I’m excited by the whole project. I know it’s a great responsibility being in charge of this great club. And it’s a big responsibility, but the only thing I can promise is I will do it to the best of my ability.”

    Finally, if you could give the fans a message in advance of a long summer with no football, what would it be?
    “Keep supporting the team as you’ve always done. Keep believing that when we come back, they know we’ll give everything to get back to where we belong. Next season, we’ll start afresh with them and I can’t wait to get it going.”
  2. May 16, 2019
    #2

    Samid follows Pogue around, fixing his images

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    Yeah...

    [​IMG]
  3. May 16, 2019
    #3

    OohAahMartial Full Member

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    "It’s time for us to put some principles in place, without the results business and without the pressure of results. When I came here, Ed rang me and said get the smiles back on their faces and get them enjoying their football, get a style of football, but in the pre-season you don’t play for points like in December, January and February.”

    What is the number one priority for you during pre-season?
    “We want to get everyone fit for when the season starts. We don’t want to lose anyone with injuries. But there are a certain set of principles to say ‘this is the way we want to play’ and we can agree on, and find a system we feel comfortable in and just go from there.”

    This was the most important part for me. I know he said recently that what with 2 games a week basically the players were just in recovery between games with no real coaching taking place. I think he always intended to do the real setting up of a new system in pre-season, rather than attempt to do it mid-season. Interesting though how he emphasises a system that "we can agree on", that emphasis on players buying into the system, unlike Sarriball or Mourinho and LVG's philosophies.
  4. May 16, 2019
    #4

    mitchmouse Full Member

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    seen some of the interview on the club's Twitter: I'm afraid Ole is just an embarrassment: it's as if he's been asked to play a game called How Many Ways Can You Describe the Responsibility of being United Manager. Huge, big, very big, large. Less time with MUTV and more time starting to sort out the mess please - and you really don't have to be Mr Nice Guy the whole time
  5. May 16, 2019
    #5

    roonster09 Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018 Scout

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    Yeah he should be cnut to the interviewer, that would show who is the boss. And yeah, he is giving interview to MUTV means he is not sorting out the mess.
  6. May 16, 2019
    #6

    mitchmouse Full Member

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    not to the interviewer. surely that's obvious: to the useless players we need rid of. And if you think talking to MUTV is any different to Putin talking to Pravda, you need to walk up. It's not an interview, it's a club PR stunt
  7. May 16, 2019
    #7

    roonster09 Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018 Scout

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    That's part of the job, talking to club channel. How do you know he isn't a cnut to the useless players that he thinks should be out of the club?
  8. May 16, 2019
    #8

    Paul_Scholes18 Full Member

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    It all sounds good and positive. Although performances have not shown the words go into actions and results.

    That part of picking a different tactic might be interesting though. I feel like Ole do not focus on having a main way of playing that he works on, but rather wants to be flexible. Being flexible could certainly be good, but it could be a big mess
    with the players not really knowing what to do in each game. I think it is probably more effective to be flexible when things are going well then when things are going wrong.

    I am also not sure he is the best at reading his players and what type of management they need.
  9. May 17, 2019
    #9

    mitchmouse Full Member

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    I'll know that when he gets rid of them - that's my point
  10. May 18, 2019
    #10

    jem Full Member

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    I think OGS should be afforded a bit more respect and not be branded an 'embarrassment.' I'm not sold on his being the manager for us, but the guy is United through and through and doesn't deserve that.
  11. May 18, 2019
    #11

    quackattack Full Member

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    here's a video to sum it all up:
  12. May 18, 2019
    #12

    soaphroniscuss New Member

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    He probably should have already known that he doesn't like losing, from his time at Cardiff.

    Ole is a bit of a politician and said the above because it sounds good, rather than because it is an accurate reflection of what happened.
  13. May 18, 2019
    #13

    bosnian_red Worst scout to ever exist

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    Guess Ole wouldnt have signed Giggs...
  14. May 18, 2019
    #14

    Dansk Full Member

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  15. May 18, 2019
    #15

    Rifer Full Member

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    :boring: Manager and players love to talk and talk and talk. Fancy words in interviews and in social media.

    Talk less or just shut up, and focus on performing on the pitch more please~

    EDIT: Not saying he shouldn't talk when being interviewed, it's part of the job... maybe do what you said you're going to do then instead of saying this and this, then not doing it. Do what you preach. Talk about it only if you mean it, not lying. It's clear by now Ole got the knowledge.. evidence from all the things he said which is right and spot on, then how about the practical application? so lacking in many ways.
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  16. May 19, 2019
    #16

    mitchmouse Full Member

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    the interview is the embarrassment
  17. May 19, 2019
    #17

    Harry Harries Full Member

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    No 'Caf of mine.
  18. May 19, 2019
    #18

    DRM New Member

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    Not be sacked by December