Ahead of the opening Premier League fixture of the season, a home clash against Chelsea, Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is content with the work his club have done this summer.
The Red Devils negotiated their six pre-season fixtures without a defeat, while the Norwegian is content with the club’s transfer market.
Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James were all added to the club’s ranks, and though some critics have suggested that this is not enough to lift United to the realm of title contenders, Solskjaer is content to play the long game.
“It's not about a quick fix. It's about a longer rebuild,” he told the press on Friday. “It's about getting the right players, the right people in, and it's not time to suddenly, in the last three days of the window, change that attitude when you haven't got the right ones, you haven't got the right people, you haven't got the right players, or you haven't got the answers.”
Although United have traditionally been known for their storming finishes to seasons, there has been no team in the history of the Premier League quicker off the mark. From 27 opening fixtures, they have picked up 18 victories and averaged 2.15 points – a tally that no team with more than five seasons in the division can match.
Hoping to stop them in their tracks this time around are Frank Lampard’s Blues, with the club legend taking charge of a competitive match for the first time since making the summer switch from Derby.
Like Solskjaer, he will take a long-term approach with his team, though unlike his counterpart at Old Trafford, his philosophy has been forced due to a year-long transfer ban.
The former England midfielder, whose Derby side won a Carabao Cup tie on penalties away to United last season, wants his side to play a purposeful, high-octane brand of football under his guidance.
“I want us to train how we want to play, to replicate that, even if I don’t think you can turn the switch on and off when you play,” he said.
“I want energy in my team. I want us to have possession of the ball. We have players who have the quality to handle the ball, but I don’t want it for possession’s sake. I want us to be an exciting team to watch so we can move the ball through the pitch quickly and create chances.”
The legacy Lampard has built at the club combined with the difficult conditions he is working under will surely offer him insurance against impatience from the stands, but a win at Old Trafford would be a great way to start.