DAVID BECKHAM says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rebuilt the spirit of Manchester United – with a little help from Fergie.
Former Old Trafford superstar Becks is thrilled that his pal and ex-team-mate has transformed a club heading into the abyss under Jose Mourinho.
United, sixth and going nowhere when Mourinho was axed in December, are now the form horse in the top four battle and relishing the prospect of a Champions League last eight showdown with Barcelona.
And for Beckham, that is a testament to the job Solskjaer has done – thanks to the advice he can seek from the man who built the Premier League United model.
Beckham said: “Beckham said: “Seeing Ole do so well, it’s obviously great to see, especially as a fan.
“But as a friend, and a team mate – an ex-team mate – to see someone that knows the club, that understands the club, come in and do as well as he has done has been great.
“And having the support of The Boss has also helped him and given him confidence.
“When you get results like he’s had, that’s great.”
Sun Sport revealed how the United hierarchy, initially desperate to lure Mauricio Pochettino away from Spurs, realised they had discovered a gem in the Norwegian.
We reported the restaurant meeting where Solskjaer was told the job is his and it is now a question of when his permanent appointment is finally confirmed by Ed Woodward.
And Beckham did not have to mention Mourinho’s name once to draw the clearest possible contrast between what was happening at United before mid-December and the mood now.
The former England skipper, in Miami to announce his new MLS franchise will play their first two years at a new £50m stadium built on the site of the former home of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, feels results speak for themselves.
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As does the mood music under the Norwegian.
Beckham added: “Ole’s just brought the players together – and the players have responded in the right way, the way the fans had hoped.
“It’s just nice to see him do so well.
“He’s obviously gained his experience outside, in Norway and in that spell at Cardiff in the Premier League.
“But now he’s come back and for him to have done what he’s done, makes us as ex-team mates very proud. It’s excited.
“And I’m not surprised at all.
“We had great players at the club, and great talent.
“The club had the infrastructure and everything Manchester United is all about.
“Ole has just come in. He gains that respect from the players because he had done it. He’d been there on the biggest stage and won, he’s been successful.
“And as a manager he’s done it in a mature way, a way that is respected by not just younger people but older ones.”
If there were any remaining doubts among board members, they will be swept away, Beckham feels, by people power.
The United faithful, well away of Solskjaer’s place in the club’s history books, have revelled in having one of their own at the helm.
Becks said: “Have they got to give him the job? That’s not down to me to decide.
“But look at the fans.
“They’ve loved all the time he has been the manager so far. They want that to continue.”
Just like Solskjaer, Beckham has himself turned to the Old Trafford boardroom to seek guidance as he embarks on his own new challenge.
His new Inter Miami outfit – Beckham is the co-owner with billionaire Jorge Mas – is just 12 months away from their launch in the MLS.
He admitted: “I’m still learning on the ownership side.
“Since we started this six years ago and I made the arrangement that I was going to be able to buy a franchise once I finished playing, I’ve been speaking to people over that time. “People like David Gill, who is someone who has a huge amount of experience at Manchester United, asking him about the job he did there.
“But there are also other clubs and football people I’ve been around over my career and been able to have and gain experience from.”
Beckham, of course, recently joined the other Class of 92 members, Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, in taking a 10 per cent stake in National League Salford City.
And he sees a potential link-up between both his new clubs, especially at youth level.
Beckham said: “There could be a crossover, who knows?
“With Salford the hard work has been done over the last few years, bringing the club up to the level they’ve got to now.
“The lads have done such a great job and for myself to be part of that now, since Miami has settled down and we’ve got that ball rolling, is great.
“But the academy system is such an important part of it.
“One of the things I did with the MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, back when I first came here, was talk about academy systems.
“There were only one or two of the clubs that actually had a system in place. I told him that for the growth of the sport in this country, that had to change.”