Since 2015, this writer has composed a potential XI on an almost daily basis, inviting readers to think about how best Manchester United should line up for various games.
This has been made possible because, most of the time, Man United’s manager – either Louis van Gaal or Jose Mourinho – has not had the slightest inkling over what their best starting XI should be.
And, crucially, neither did United supporters themselves – perhaps a reason why this format of article has proved to be one of the most successful in terms of clicks. How often have we, over the last five years, felt utterly estranged from this United team, as if unable to even begin thinking about what a best XI could look like?
After just a month with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the wheel, however, that notion has been flipped on its head. United supporters know exactly what their best team is.
The only potential weak link is Phil Jones, who ought to make way for Eric Bailly, just to see if the Ivorian can offer less flimsiness in key situations.
Apart from that, though, you know what the team below is going to be, don’t you? Perhaps this is Ole’s greatest victory so far: his appeal to common sense man-management and a playing style aligned with what modern football demands, paving the way for a very obvious best XI to take on Arsenal this Friday.