Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Preparing for Next Season at Manchester United

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Whether or not he returns next season, interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going about his everyday operations as if he’ll be in charge beyond the end of this season. The 45-year-old caretaker boss has made it known at least a couple times already that he wants the United job on a long-term basis, and while his future beyond 2018-19 is still in limbo, the uncertainty won’t hinder his preparations.

What Manchester United are going to look like next season with or without me, it doesn’t matter, I’m here to prepare for next season,” Solskjaer said at his prematch news conference ahead of Burnley’s visit to Old Trafford Wednesday night.

ole gunnar solskjaer

“We have quite a few talents in that youth team that you’d like to see [in the side] and [you] will see at some point before next season to put the club and team in a good position [for] how will we look like next season: Mason, Jimmy, Ethan – it’s just about the right time. But we’ve got Alexis [Sánchez], Juan Mata, and Romelu Lukaku who haven’t played so much lately, they’re three players you have to jump ahead of.”

Solskjaer has won all eight games that he’s been in charge since taking over for the sacked Jose Mourinho just before Christmas. Since that devastatingly one-sided loss to arch-rival Liverpool late last month, United have looked a completely different side. That’s the Solskjaer effect, and you can see it all across the team, but most strikingly so in Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.

Later in the media session, Solskjaer also said that he doesn’t expect any inbound nor outbound deals to be closed between now and the end of the January transfer window on Thursday.

What does the man known as “the baby faced assassin” during his playing days need to do in order to keep the gig on a more permanent basis?

Well, it would be pretty much impossible for the board to deny him should be lead United to UEFA Champions League glory. If he can deliver a top four finish, and thus secure a UCL bid for next season, he would likely have a very favorable chance too. Obviously winning the FA Cup would help his cause a lot too, as last year’s United side did not achieve any silverware.

Of course, Solskjaer faces strong competition for this position, potentially Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane, but if he keeps winning like he has, well the club would be pretty incompetent if they tried to fix that which is not broken. It will certainly be very interesting to see how it all plays out down the stretch here.

Manchester United vs Burnley FC FYIs

Kickoff: Saturday, January 29, 8pm local, Old Trafford

MUFC Starting XI Prediction: go to this link

Injury Report for both sides: go to this link

Google Result Probability: United win 75%, Draw 17%, Burnley win 8%

Form Guide: Manchester United- WWWWW Burnley- WWWDL

Odds: Manchester United 2/7, Draw 11/2, Burnley 14/1

Prediction: Manchester United 3, Burnley 0

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

He also contributes sociopolitical essays to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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