Jamie Carragher dismisses claims that anyone could have done Solskjaer's job at Man United


Manchester United are flying at the moment.

After Marcus Rashford's fine finish was enough to see off Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Wembley, United are now level on points with Arsenal in fifth and just six points off the top four.

The key component change that has seemingly caused the shift in results has been the appointment of club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as interim manager.

The Norwegian played for United for 11 years - from 1996 to 2007 - and built a legendary status, most notably after his Champions League injury-time strike that won the Red Devils the trophy in 1999.

Despite not having a managerial resume that would often be associated with someone worthy of such a role, Solskjaer's cult-hero status has re-invigorated the club who after Mourinho's departure looked rather deflated.

'The Shackles are off'

The babyfaced assassin's first five fixtures as boss were Cardiff, Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Newcastle and an FA Cup tie with Reading.

On the face of it, these all should be must-win games and that is exactly what Solskjaer did with United scoring an impressive 16 goals in the process.

But even with a perfect start, football fans and pundits alike were reluctant to give Ole too much credit, even including former Man United midfielder Paul Ince.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League

"The shackles are off, but that doesn't mean that Ole is the right man for the job," Ince told Paddy Power News.

"Anyone could have gone in and done what he has done, it wasn't a hard thing to do to give those players freedom and improve the mood."

Arch-rival of Solskjaer's while playing for Liverpool, Jamie Carragher, has however jumped to his defence.

Manchester United v Liverpool

The former defender and current pundit had this to say on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football:

"A lot has been written about Solskjaer and everything being very, very positive on the surface," he said.

"I think underneath that, a lot of people were looking at it before the Spurs game and thought: 'Anyone could have gone in there and done that'. It's nonsense. It's absolute nonsense."

Carragher also alluded to some controversial choices that Solskjaer has made and has been proven right in doing so.

"He's made big decisions by leaving people out – (Romelu) Lukaku, an £80million striker, on the bench. When he's brought him on he's made an impact.

"You think of Jose Mourinho, people were saying these games were easy. Last season, when Manchester United finished second and got to an FA Cup final, Mourinho lost three games to promoted teams.

"So it's not easy to go and wipe the floor with these teams. He's (Solskjaer) made a great start to his career."

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