While Manchester United‘s loss to Leicester City in the FA Cup quarter-final was undoubtedly disappointing, it’s important to remember the progress they’ve made this season.
Indeed, aside from a Manchester City side on an almost unprecedented run of form, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s outfit rank as the best team in the Premier League and, impressively, are yet to be beaten on the road during the Premier League campaign.
Having topped the league as late as January and continued his more-than-respectable personal record against Pep Guardiola, the Norweigian coach has proven he is taking this side on an upward trajectory.
That was a view shared by club legend and former teammate David Beckham who backed the 48-year-old and urged naysayers to take the bigger picture into account.
“I’ve seen some of the criticism but I suppose when you are a manager of Man Utd when they’ve had success over the years that they’ve had, there was always going to be a point where people get criticised, whether it’s the players, whether it’s the owners, whether it’s the manager,” he said to ESPN.
“Ole’s been in the game long enough to be able to take any kind of criticism. He’s very quiet, he gets on with his job, and I think he’s done an incredible job down at United.
“The results are starting to show that. Hopefully it continues because the fans love Ole, we all love Ole and we all want him to do well. So when the criticism comes, he’s one person that can take it.”
Indeed, Solskjaer’s personal view of high performance is worth taking into account too.
Last year, he told The High Performance Podcast that a major part of his coaching philosophy was to strive to improve at any given opportunity and that he’s learned to craft a relentless pursuit of growth during his long association with the Old Trafford giants.
“I think everyone can learn all the time and that’s what I learned when I came here as a player,” he said.
“Players like David Beckham, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, they all wanted to improve and be better.
“The day you think you’re the real deal, that’s when I think you go downwards.”
This is a man who doesn’t settle. You can rest assured he’ll be striving to go even further next time out.
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