Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jordi Cruyff played together for four years at Old Trafford.
Manchester United have been in tremendous form since the managerial appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They have picked 22 points in eights games in the Premier League along with beating Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round.
Solskjaer has revived a barren squad who could only earn 26 points in 17 games under Jose Mourinho. Solskjaer’s former team-mate and Manchester United’s former midfielder Jordi Cruyff said that the Norwegian’s work has been more mental in talking to players and the press than the outfield tactics.
“After two or three days there was a huge turnaround without any training,” Cruyff said while talking to BBC Sport.
“After starting his spell in charge with a relatively comfortable run of fixtures, United have now won away at Tottenham and at a Leicester side that earned positive results against Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool in the last six weeks,” he said.
United have cut the gap to the UEFA Champions League qualification place and moved a position to be placed at fifth in the recent game week. They are two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool.
Cruyff said, “The quality is there. They are good players. From the outside, he has touched their minds and put an arm around their shoulder. They really needed someone to stabilise things and give positive messages, outside and inside the club.”
Jordi Cruyff represented Manchester United 34 times in the Premier League from 1996 to 2000, winning the league in 1997.
“When players are blocked, they cannot produce. Suddenly there is an unblock, which probably comes more from the mind because Ole had no time to turn things around based on training. That tells you a lot about the players’ state of mind,” he said.
Jordi and Ole joined together in 1996 and they are at a similar position in their lives with the former preparing for the Chineses Super League’s new season while the latter is at Manchester United.
Cruyff, the son of Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff insists that United must appoint a sporting director.
The former Netherlands winger said, “The sports director role is vital. Managers decide training schedules, tactics, line-ups. But who makes the decisions about where to scout or the structure of the academy? The manager? There is no logic to that.”
The Red Devils travel to Fulham to play their next Premier League game. United have a tight schedule of crucial games in the month ahead now.