Febian Brandy reveals the secrets of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's success at Man Utd



Febian Brandy has played a prominent role under United's current boss with the club's Reservists and has a unique view of the methods that he uses.

One of the things that stood out in the final phase of the unlikely – although very typical – return of the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain last month was the sight of local hopes, Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood, entering the peloton with the result still in the list. balanced.

One could expect – with such high stakes – that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opts for the maintenance of the eleventh game he had on the field, especially given the inexperience on the bench because of the magnitude United's injury and suspension problems.

But United had nothing to lose and everything to gain by bleeding Chong and Greenwood. This is, after all, the united way. It goes straight to the heart of the club's identity. If you are good enough, you are old enough. This is only by testing young players in such circumstances that assessments can be made.

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The proud tradition of this club to train young players – from the era before Sir Matt Busby's reign to Sir Alex Ferguson's reign – is one of his proudest emblems. And it is in front and center with Solskjaer in charge.

It might be difficult to define the club's philosophy beyond a feeling or a desire to get things done in the way that Sir Alex could have done. But it's something that does not need to be named, as long as you have someone who understands it.

"It's not really a team where you have to wait 18 or 19 years to play in the first team," said Febian Brandy, who played for United from 8 to 21 years.

"At one point, I trained with the first team at 15 years old. Players are not limited when they can become a first-team player. If you keep working hard, you never know when you will be called. "

Marcus Rashford Manchester United PSG Champions League 2019

Brandy played under Solskjaer during his reign as United's reserve team manager from 2008 to 2010. Solskjaer, he says, understood his place in United's traditions.

He took with him the behaviors and attitudes of the Ferguson teams, those who ended up defining the modern era, not only of Manchester United, but also of English football.

"My time at Man United, we had the likes of Rio [Ferdinand]Gary Neville [Edwin] Van der Sar, [Paul] Scholesy, Ole, [Nemanja] Vidic, the list is long. We knew how these guys were.

"We saw them week after week, we saw how they behaved on the field, we saw when they had won the Premier League or the Champions League, they are not big-headed or something like that.

"We won the Champions League, we will celebrate a little, but then we went back to work.

"If I'm at Man United as long as I've been, I'll see him constantly, every season. Their attitude is anchored at home and among other players. We had a solid cloakroom and they kept us all online.

"At the same time, if you need advice, you can talk to them about anything. They were all like big brothers for us; they all watched over us whenever we needed it. "

It's this way that has not only created the "class of 92", but also today's stars such as Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford.

"You never went there thinking:" It's my job, "says Brandy. "You always went there to have fun and express yourself. There is a level of relaxation and relaxation.

"Obviously, there is pressure to enter the first team, but the coaches do not really put you under pressure. They let the players express themselves and move naturally.

"This way you can get the best of the players and that's why United has made so many players in the academy turn to the first team.

"They have had good coaches who know how to allow players of all ages to express themselves. It's essential for them to be part of the first team.

"When players realize that they enjoy such freedom in a club, that's where Man United gets the best of them. Over the years, it worked for them.

"With United, if someone has an idea of ​​the academy, then one of the coaches of the first team could accept that idea, and then they rebel." That was crucial.

"Jesse and Pogba are Man United's next core group of players, like the Rios, the Vidics, the Gas Nevs when I was there. They had that before.

"The academy players who show up now will be watching Paul and Jesse and will think we can see how they behave, and whatever their attitude, Paul and Jesse will incorporate it into the upcoming new series."

Febian Brandy Manchester United

With an operational youth system such as United, it is essential to have a first-team coach who understands the need to get players through and build on the existing traditions of all that has gone before.

"Ole is about global development," says Brandy, who now runs the social media app for football Skouted.

"The leaders who have been there, Ole did not have the resume level they had, but he knows the club more than them.

"It's the key with Man United. This has been shown. You can not just throw someone with a big name, you have to throw someone who knows the club, who knows the players, who knows the staff, who knows the core of the club. "

The results may have been disappointing in recent weeks – with three defeats in four games – but there is no doubt that Solskjaer put United back on track, both in the Champions League, where it will face Barcelona on Wednesday night, 39 in the Premier League. where they are firmly in the top four hunt.

The players got tired under the former manager Jose Mourinho, including Pogba and Anthony Martial who have regained their form since the change of dugout in December.

"Every player is different," says Brandy, who has come to know Solskjaer closely and his management methods. "A player might need a scream to make him angry. Another player might need comfort.

"I'm not saying that you let the players do what they want or whatever, it's just being a human person and knowing how to deal with men in different ways.

"If I came to training, upset for some reason or a little, Ole would look at me and say," What's up? "And I would say:" Nothing. "And then, he'd probably make a joke, and everything that bothered me was gone.

"I would go out and train myself and I would have a very good training session, just because of him saying those little words. It's hard to describe, but it's really such a good person, a sociable person, a good guy and a good manager.

"I looked up at him. As he got older, he began to watch our sessions. It was a buzz for me. Someone in whom I had great esteem came to watch our sessions and give us advice. "

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Paul Manchester United Pogba Watford 30032019

If there was a criticism of Solskjaer during this period of poor results, it is that at the tactical level, he was found to be failing. And even if he does not yet have the tactical reputation of Pep Guardiola or Mauricio Pochettino, Solskjaer's forces are elsewhere.

"It was not at all complicated," says Brandy about the Norwegian's approach. "We would do our best to prepare for the games. The discussions would be brief and sharp. he is calm and collected.

"For me, he would say that the next game is behind and you will see what happens. Then the game would come, I would do the shopping behind and before you know we are 3-0.

"It's like he had the ability to see the game before it was played."

The Barcelona Games will mark Solskjaer's biggest challenge as a manager so far, with Lionel Messi lagging behind. However, United may be right to feel more confident with the new driving director, newly appointed after a permanent appointment following the exploits of PSG.

"You can see a change since the arrival of Ole, from former Man United leaders," says Brandy.

"You can see the difference in the game, in the attitude of the players. It's the same as when Sir Alex was there. Man United, they find this factor of fear in Old Trafford thanks to this offensive football.

"Everyone is happy there, they feel relaxed and can express themselves. You can see the proof on the field, with the performances and the way the players are. "

Febian Brandy is the co-creator of Skouted – the social network that brings budding players closer to clubs and clubs, providing a level playing field for the football industry.


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