Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did not have the man-management skills to succeed as a Premier League manager, but Tommy Smith says something has changed.
The former winger of Watford and Cardiff, who played under Cardiff's new Manchester United manager, was shocked by his first appointment and was equally surprised by Solskjer's outstanding record since taking over the role in December of last year.
The Norwegian, who first played in the Premier League in 2014, tried to rely on recruiting for his home nation, but with forgotten players like Andreas Cornelius and Magnus Wolff Eikrem alongside Smith, Cardiff ended up with only three league victories under Solskjer's side.
"I did not feel like he was a great man-manager, but he's a nice man and he's obviously gone to the locker room and he's just working for him," Smith said of the comedy by Bell and Spurling Travel times (weekdays 1
"At first, I was surprised to announce that he was an interim manager. Exactly from what I saw in Cardiff, he had trouble being honest.
"I did not think it would work. I was probably one of the biggest critics.
"He did a lot in Cardiff. We had problems at the end of the Premier League, and it is always difficult to perform under such circumstances and pressure.
"We were one level lower than he would probably ever have played. His recruitment was not great, so his reign probably ended.
"It's quite different when you go into a team that is below average and you have players you can release, and he probably knew how to do it."
Without the Pressure to stick to his own big financial obligations, and to break away from a very unpopular style of play under Jose Mourinho The Old Trafford believers have led Solskjaer United on all points by two points ahead of the first four and a quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Smith pointed to the historic 3-1 victory at the Parc des Princes when Solskjaer won his three-year contract.
"It was at stake," Smith said.
"Most names in the press mine former Players called for him because he wins 14 jobs in 19 and after the PSG game it was only a matter of time.
"He seemed to understand United's beliefs. It's like releasing everyone. Suddenly, the feel-good factor came back and so did the results.
"The fans were very pleased to have him with them, which was huge at the time of Mourinho's reign, when everything seemed to go awry. It needed these new impulses.
"It was fantastic what he did in Paris. It was like the old man from United, that idea, the character they showed. "
Solskjers Gamedays at Manchester United have done a lot to get the players excited, but Smith explained that only one manager has made it so far. They go into a dressing room.
The attacker looked back on his own experiences in London to explain how some managers can destroy any respect a team has for their manager's football pedigree.
"I played under managers, who were fantastic footballers. It does not mean that they are good managers. This respect only takes so long before you start to go, you are not particularly good at your job!
"Mark Hughes from QPR came in with great respect, and at the end of his term I believed that everything had disappeared. We have not seen from eye to eye. That is my experience.
"He is so successful for Solskjaer, but you have to prove it. You have to secure it. "