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The former Red Devils defender has been impressed by attacking intent in 2020-21 and wants to see fewer questions asked of a Norwegian coach

Manchester United’s class of 2020-21 are recreating the firepower once provided by Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, claims John O’Shea.

The Red Devils have always prided themselves on the attacking talent they have at their disposal at any given time.

Some iconic forwards have passed through Old Trafford, including five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo and the club’s all-time leading goalscorer Rooney.

Following in such footsteps is never going to be easy, but the likes of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial are thriving in the present.

They are ably supported by Edinson Cavani, Daniel James, Bruno Fernandes and Co., with O’Shea impressed by the options Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has on his books.

The former United defender told talkSPORT: “It’s coming back, slowly.

“You see the amount of goals they score, it’s a sign they want to get that attacking flowing football going again, the counter-attacking style with that speed.

“You think of Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez… it’s very exciting to watch and it’s positive.”

United hit six in their latest Premier League outing, as they swept aside old adversaries Leeds, and O’Shea believes positive steps are being taken in the right direction by a club that lost its way somewhat on the back of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

He added: “For me, there is progress under Ole. There’s continual progress. It might be a bit slower than people want, but it’s progress.

“They score goals, yeah they could defend better at times, but if they win that game in hand look where they’ll be in the Premier League.

“You’re expected to win everything at Manchester United; that’s the pressure that’s on you as the manager.

“And yes, the Champions League is disappointing, but PSG and RB Leipzig are no mugs.

“The challenge in the league is to get closer to the champions, that’s Liverpool and they are setting an amazing standard – you see what they did to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park (a devastating 7-0 victory on Saturday) and it’s a tough standard to get to.

“But there is progress and I think Manchester United are closing that gap.”

With that in mind, and with many talking the Red Devils up as title contenders in 2020-21, O’Shea hopes Solskjaer will be given the time he needs to get things right – with the Norwegian having faced plenty of questions regarding his suitability to a demanding coaching post.

“It shouldn’t be the case that after every game there’s an examination on Ole and the coaching team,” said O’Shea.

“After every game we hear people say, ‘oh he should stay now’, or, ‘oh he shouldn’t stay now’. You’re never going to progress as a club if that’s the case.

“Let things settle down again. Be calm, be patient. The team won’t get carried away just because they scored the goals they did yesterday.

“They know they’ve got a tough run of games coming up; they have Everton in the Carabao Cup, who have turned the corner, and then Leicester away, and they’ve just had a fantastic win away at Tottenham.

“So it’s small steps, but there’s lots to look forward to and it’s very exciting for the club.”

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December 22, 2020
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