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Old 18-10-2019, 11:41 AM   #101
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Default Re: Manchester United under Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits Man United are 'one or two players light' in their chase of the top four - but expects business in January to be difficult

* Ole Gunnar Solskjaer states Manchester United will not panic buy in January
* Red Devils currently enduring their worst ever start to a Premier League season
* Liverpool travel to Old Trafford as bitter rivals meet on Sunday afternoon
* Solskjaer not concerned over his position as he spoke with Gary Neville


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims that his Manchester United side are short of players but admits he still might not add to his his struggling squad in January.

The under pressure boss faces a huge test on Sunday when they host bitter rivals Liverpool who have emerged as runaway leaders in the top flight following an incredible eight-match winning start.

Ahead of the clash at Old Trafford he spoke with former team-mate Gary Neville at United's training ground on his plans for the club.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer concedes that Manchester United may not get their targets in January. Solskjaer was interviewed at the club's training ground by former team-mate Gary Neville

'The money is there,' he told the Sky Sports pundit. 'We've been looking at players and we were close to a couple but it's not right if you don't get the right players. The money is there to strengthen in January and in the summer.

'We're planning and we're looking. We're refining our targets, but just before the summer transfer window ended, the ready-made players weren't there. But the resources are there if the right players are available.

'January is a difficult window, anyway. But if there are players available and at the right price, I'm sure we will spend. There might be some experienced players who can come in and help the younger players - that might be worth the money.


Manchester United have failed to win their last five games including defeat at Newcastle. Solskjaer's side sit 12th in the Premier League following their worst Premier League start

'So it depends on who is available. I'm not going to go down the route of bringing players in on big contracts and big fees if they're not the right ones for the whole group and for the future.'

In contrast to Liverpool, United have endured their worst start ever to a Premier League season and already face a tough battle to break back into the top four this term sitting 12th in the table and five points off a Champions League spot.

Yet despite admitting his squad's shortcomings the former United striker is confident his side have what it takes to lead a revival and break into the top four.

'Yes, definitely,' he told Neville. 'Of course, we're looking at one or two new signings. We're one or two players light, and we've said that, but if the right ones are available in January then we might do something. If not, these players will give everything.'

Although Solskjaer is looking ahead to possible January recruitments, long term United want six players over the next two transfer windows.

Sportsmail understands club chiefs have targeted two strikers, two central midfielders, a central defender and a left back in an ambitious revamp.

Juventus veteran Mario Mandzukic and Moussa Dembele at Lyon are of interest, as are Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez and Leicester City's James Maddison.

United's poor start has piled the pressure on the Norwegian and his position as manager is under scrutiny with Massimiliano Allegri waiting in the wings to take over according to Italian reports.

But Solskjaer has shrugged off concerns over his position in the club, insisting he has a long term plan for the next few seasons which have been backed by chief executive Ed Woodward.

'All the talks I've had with the owners, with Ed Woodward and the club have been about me having a three-year contract,' said Solskjaer.

'We're planning long-term. I've been given the job and if you lose a game or two, you don't wait for a call to be given assurances.

'But we started out with a plan and a recruitment plan is in place. I'm 100 per cent sure from my time here that the structure is right because it is always the manager who has the final say.'

Solskjaer started a clearout process in the summer which saw talented players including Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku depart who were initially big-name arrivals tasked with firing United back into a title fight.

United have since failed to kick on without them and Solskjaer claimed that although he does not doubt their ability, hinted that both among other departures during his tenure were not committed to giving 100 per cent for the team.

'In one-off games, you think we could've had a number of extra players with experience,' he added. 'Alexis and Rom are goalscorers and good players, but at the moment, we made those decisions and they were the right decisions.

'That's the only way you've got to look at it. All the players here want to give everything for the club and for the shirt - that's a big thing.

'Every day that they come in training, and every day that they put the shirt on, they're going to give everything that they have. So you can't really say, 'oh I wish I didn't do that'.

Code:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7582979/Ole-Gunnar-Solskjaer-admits-Manchester-United-one-two-players-light.html
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Old 21-10-2019, 10:55 AM   #102
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Default Re: Manchester United under Solskjaer

Ed Woodward BACKS Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and claims Manchester United manager is a 'walking, talking' version of club's philosophy as he says he can oversee 'cultural reboot'

* Ed Woodward has issued more public backing for boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
* The Manchester United chief trusts Solskjaer with the club's 'cultural reboot'
* Reports said the Norwegian could be axed in the event of a loss against Liverpool
* But Woodward believes Solskjaer to perfectly surmise the philosophy at the club


Ed Woodward has issued another public display of backing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and trusts the under-pressure Manchester United boss to carry out a 'cultural reboot' at the club.

The 20-time Premier League champions have endured a stuttering start to the new campaign and are floundering just two points above the relegation zone ahead of their showdown with Liverpool on Sunday.

But despite reports stating that the manager could be axed if United were to lose against their arch-rivals, the United chief believes Solskjaer remains the right man to oversee the club's revival.

Woodward has recently fired back at critics of United's recruitment policy, and has also been forced to reiterate his support for Solskjaer - who he believes to be a 'walking, talking' version of the club's philosophy.

Questioned about his long-term vision for the fallen giants, Woodward told United We Stand fanzine, via The National: 'Winning; playing attacking football with players that have an 'x-factor'; and giving youth a chance.

'Added to that, we want players to come in who respect their team-mates, the club, the history. They must understand that they are creating a legacy by coming to Manchester United. Nobody is bigger than the club.


Ed Woodward has backed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and believes he can oversee 'cultural reboot'

'There should be both a humbleness and an arrogance. Humble when you are on the team coach and you wear the club suit, you do up your top button and wear your tie, you represent the club in the right way. Then you sign autographs for the people who pay your wages.

'Then, when you go into the dressing room, you put the red shirt on and you feel arrogant, self assured. As Michael Carrick said in his book, you want to take the ball, you want the ball in tight spaces, you want a never-say-die spirit. Ole has brought a lot of the discipline back.

'Whatever manager we have has to buy into that philosophy and Ole is a walking, talking version of that. Let's let this play out with Ole in terms of the culture reboot.'


The Norwegian had come under pressure after United's worst start to a season for 30 years. But Woodward believes Solskjaer to be a 'walking, talking' version of Man United's philosophy

The under-fire executive vice chairman accepted that pressure was also mounting on him to steer the club to success, with United having spent 900million on transfers since his promotion and failed to challenge for the title again.

He added: 'I understand the scrutiny; it's part of the job. We have to do everything that we possibly can to get back to winning the Premier League. We are not successful until we do. Second is not success, we have to win the Premier League.'

'I feel that we are on the right track to get back to that point but we are going to have to be patient.'

Code:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7593411/Ed-Woodward-backs-Ole-Gunnar-Solskjaer-claims-walking-talking-version-philosophy.html
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Old 23-10-2019, 11:46 AM   #103
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Default Re: Manchester United under Solskjaer

Even Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits Man United must 'take a step or two back before we move forward' - this is still their worst start since 1986... so where do they go from here?

* Manchester United were the better side in their draw with Liverpool on Sunday
* United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won his tactical battle against Jurgen Klopp
* Solskjaer will have been buoyed by the performances of his younger players
* United will improve even more when Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw return to play


Depending on how you look at it, Manchester United's draw with Liverpool was a demonstration of real potential from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side or another two points dropped in what has been a frustrating season.

'There is a process that will require us to take a step or two back before we move forward,' Solskjaer acknowledged in his programme notes for Sunday's game at Old Trafford, and once again United showed they are a team capable of moving in both directions.

The 1-1 draw could be a platform for them to build for the rest of the season or another false dawn. Sportsmail assesses the ups and downs...

Solskjaer nailed his tactics

Overall, United were the better team against the European champions and Premier League leaders who surrendered their 100 per cent record despite Adam Lallana's late equaliser.

Solskjaer edged the tactical battle over Jurgen Klopp, pinning Liverpool's marauding full-backs in their own half for much of the game by playing three centre-backs and pushing Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Ashley Young further forward.

He also caused Liverpool's defence problems by deploying Marcus Rashford and Dan James in wide positions up front. Their pace and work-rate was key for United and led to Rashford's goal.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won his tactical battle against Jurgen Klopp at Old Trafford

Youngsters impressing

The green shoots of what Solskjaer is trying to cultivate at United a younger, more vibrant team built around predominantly British players was evident.

Besides the performances of Rashford, James and Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire marshalled the defensive effort and Scott McTominay provided drive from the base of midfield.

Andreas Pereira also excelled in the No 10 role and there was even a more encouraging display from his fellow Brazil international Fred.


Aaron Wan-Bissaka was one of several United youngsters who impressed in Sunday's derby

Fitness crisis easing

The injury crisis that has hung over Old Trafford in recent weeks is beginning to clear.

Anthony Martial made his comeback off the bench after eight weeks out with a thigh injury and will take some of the burden off Rashford.

Wan-Bissaka is fit again after a bout of tonsillitis that kept him out of the previous three games and international duty with England, while David de Gea played in goal despite concerns the groin strain he suffered playing for Spain might keep him out for a few weeks.


The return of Anthony Martial as a second half substitute is a big boost after injury crisis

Solskjaer has the backing of the board

Ed Woodward's backing for Solskjaer before the game has given the Norwegian valuable breathing space as he continues to reshape this squad.

Results will always dictate the mood at a football club and no manager is bullet-proof, but at least Solskjaer knows there is understanding at the top of the club that the project will take time.


Ed Woodward's backing of Solskjaer has given the Manchester United boss breathing space

Still work to be done

For all the positives United can take from the game, a draw means it's their worst start since 1986 when Ron Atkinson was sacked and replaced by Sir Alex Ferguson.

They are 13th in the table after a quarter of the season below Burnley, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace, and their next league game is at Norwich where Manchester City came unstuck last month.

It was the fourth time in the Premier League this season that Solskjaer's side have failed to protect a one-goal lead.

Wolves, Southampton, Arsenal and now Liverpool have all fought back to draw 1-1 with United, who couldn't even close out a victory against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup without penalties.

They did manage to snatch a late equaliser of their own against Crystal Palace but almost immediately conceded a winner at the other end.


Despite an improved display, United still have much work to do after an awful start to season

United not yet at full strength

United are still without Paul Pogba whose right foot remains in a protective cast as he looks set to be sidelined until next month.

The Frenchman can be erratic but he is too great a talent not to be missed. His only contribution during a three-game absence has been to reignite speculation over a move to Real Madrid by being pictured in conversation with Zinedine Zidane.

Although United's injury situation is improving, Luke Shaw has suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring problem and is undergoing a warm-weather rehabilitation programme in Dubai where he will be joined by Nemanja Matic.

Axel Tuanzebe is also being assessed after pulling out of Sunday's game just before kick-off with a hip injury sustained in the warm-up.

Code:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7598481/Manchester-Uniteds-performance-against-Liverpool-shows-Solskjaer.html
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Old 28-10-2019, 10:44 AM   #104
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Default Re: Manchester United under Solskjaer

'You want to win trophies... but you also want to do it with kids': Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not compromise on Manchester United's 'DNA' despite difficult start to the campaign

* Manchester United have made a slow start to the Premier League season so far
* Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has introduced several young players to the team
* Solskjaer insisted he would continue to give the youngsters chances to impress


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted he will not sacrifice Manchester United's philosophy in pursuit of winning titles and trophies.

The Norwegian will lead his club at Norwich on Sunday having overseen the team's worst start to a Premier League season in more than three decades, sitting 16th in the Premier League after nine games.

However, Solskjaer has given plenty of opportunities to young players and feels it is important that Manchester United stick by their clearly-defined identity.


Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted that he would remain brave. Norwegian put faith in young players including Anthony Martial (C) and Marcus Rashford (R)

'You have to be brave. You have to trust your players and trust the kids.

'We need results as soon as possible. We need a result against Norwich. But then again we are in the situation we are.

'We made the decision to start the transition and that transition period has been difficult but I think the young kids are going to learn from it.

'You want to win, you want to win trophies and win in a certain style. But you also want to do it with young kids.

'That's the DNA we have. We do give young players a chance and you won't really know about them until you throw them into deep water and see if they can swim. Those boys so far have done really well.'

Code:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7619073/Ole-Gunnar-Solskjaer-not-compromise-Manchester-United-DNA-despite-difficult-start.html
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Old 30-10-2019, 10:44 AM   #105
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Default Re: Manchester United under Solskjaer

'Give him the money other managers have had to get Manchester United players': Ryan Giggs urges Ed Woodward and Co to back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the transfer market

* Ryan Giggs wants Manchester United to back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer financially
* The club are in desperate need of a good transfer window to improve the squad
* Solskjaer brought in three names in the summer and the trio are impressing
* Giggs says United need six players if they are to challenge for trophies again


Ryan Giggs has urged Manchester United to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the financial power to make six signings.

Solskjaer spent big on Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James in the summer but United's worst start to a season for 30 years shows they need more reinforcements.

United are set to continue the overhaul of their squad in the January window with a striker among the top priorities.

Wales manager Giggs believes if the club is to challenge for major trophies again in the near future then the board must back Solskjaer in the transfer market immediately.


Ryan Giggs has urged Manchester United to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backing with transfers. Giggs told The United Stand that the Red Devils need six players in order to compete again

Giggs told The United Stand: 'We need to bring quality in. Ole has brought three in who are all doing well. His dealings have been very good so far. Give him the money other managers have had to get Manchester United players.

'Get another five or six players like that in, we will see a real difference. They are missing that creative player. It is no coincidence, the best performances have been against good teams. The lesser teams are always harder to break down.

'We are probably just a bit shy of them creative players and I think Ole recognises that. It has been a difficult start. As far as Ole is concerned, I know him well, as a player and person.

'He is going to need time. Since the manager left, different philosophies and types of players and Ole is trying to turn that around.

'He is looking at the future and trying to win games at the same time. It is difficult.

'When you are in a league with Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola fantastic, established coaches. I don't care who came in, it was never going to be easy.'

Code:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7626987/Ryan-Giggs-urges-Manchester-United-Ole-Gunnar-Solskjaer-transfer-market.html
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:37 AM   #106
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Default Re: Manchester United under Solskjaer

The real Rashford is on his way back, McTominay's a brilliant stand-in for Pogba and players are adapting well to new tactics... How Solskjaer has re-invigorated Manchester United since Ed Woodward's dreaded vote of 'confidence'

* Man United have won three consecutive games since their draw with Liverpool
* Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was backed by Ed Woodward in September and October
* The likes of Scott McTominay and Fred have stepped up in Paul Pogba's absence
* Anthony Martial's return from injury has lifted the spirits of United's first team


It's been an excellent fortnight for under-fire Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer whose side have drawn with Liverpool and beaten Partizan Belgrade, Norwich City and Chelsea since returning from the last international break.

Prior to that, United had suffered dismal defeats at Newcastle and West Ham, and only squeezed past Rochdale on penalties in the Carabao Cup.

Some knives were out for Solskjaer at that stage but he's managed to start turning the ship around. Here's how...


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has turned his side's fortunes around during the last few weeks

SUPPORT FROM THE TOP

The public backing of United chief Ed Woodward prior to the Liverpool game on October 20 'Ole's vision maps exactly the football objectives we have' - was significant.

Solskjaer's predecessor Jose Mourinho was sacked after an awful defeat against Jurgen Klopp's team but Woodward's intervention guaranteed there would be no repeat for Solskjaer had United lost this month's game at Old Trafford.

It gave the players a message that the manager was secure and there was a visible bounce in United's performance against Liverpool that saw them only denied three points by a late Adam Lallana equaliser. They've been able to build on that with three consecutive victories since.

Votes of confidence don't always work but it did on this occasion.

RETURN OF THE REAL RASH

United's defensive record hasn't been that bad this season even during the darkest times they've not conceded more than twice in any game but up front the goals were hard to come by.

Marcus Rashford seemed weighed down by the responsibility of replacing Romelu Lukaku as the club's main centre forward and ironically it was a fantastic performance for England against Bulgaria that seemed to restore his mojo.

With Anthony Martial also back from injury to share the burden and allow Rashford to drift wide when he wants, the Mancunian has scored four in four.

His wonderful free-kick against Chelsea has been rightly lauded but for a striker the cushioned control and first-time finish against Norwich was proof that Rash is back. And there is more to come Halloween marks his 22nd birthday.


Marcus Rashford has returned to form following October's international break. The United ace scored a free-kick from 35 yards to send his side through in the Carabao Cup


Anthony Martial's return from injury has eased the burden on strike partner Rashford

TAG OF ONE-MAN TEAM DISAPPEARS

Paul Pogba's ankle injury has been a blessing in disguise. The Frenchman wasn't playing well, in mitigation the knock was causing him problems, but more importantly his presence was overshadowing the team. Every conversation was about Pogba, his role and his form.

With no Pogba, others have stepped up, and when he returns it will be into a more confident side where he won't be expected to do everything.

Scott McTominay has emerged as a real midfield leader in Pogba's absence and 52million Fred has gone from ridicule to being a regular Solskjaer pick. 'He's just improving and improving,' says the manager about his Brazilian. The opportunity may not have arrived had Pogba not taken time out.


Fred and Scott McTominay have proven their worth during Pogba's absence through injury

MARTIAL LAW

Dan James has been a big hit in his first Premier League season apart from the tendency to hit the floor all too often but Martial's return from injury has definitely given opposition defenders another dimension to worry about.

The partnership between Martial and Rashford was clearly visible at Carrow Road at the weekend, both scored and the interplay between the pair for the final United goal four passes between them followed by Martial's dink finish was a throwback to when Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney were in their pomp at United.

United have won 10 of the 13 Premier League games under Solskjaer in which Martial has started. It could work out that his long-term future is down the middle as a No 9 with Rashford slightly wider. It's been a recipe for success so far.


Martial and Rashford have formed a fine partnership alongside summer recruit Daniel James

OLD BOYS ON BOARD

Compared to the stick Louis van Gaal and to a lesser extent Mourinho got from the various influential Manchester United pundits on television, Solskjaer has had an easy ride. It helps that a lot of them know him, like him and are prepared to give him a chance.

United's win at Norwich lifted them from 15th to seventh which shows how congested the middle of the table can be and to have the support of United influencers is key when the margins between success and failure are so thin.

The acerbic Roy Keane is a personal friend of Solskjaer with the United boss happy to admit he's been a visitor to his former team-mate's house for a cuppa and a football chat.

Gary Neville has also held off criticising Solskjaer, aiming his fire higher up the food chain to Woodward and the owners.

Also importantly, United have made attempts to bring other former greats into the tent. Darren Fletcher was invited to the training ground and soon after made a mission statement urging the United players to ignore outside noise and just concentrate on fulfilling the manager's instructions.

All of that helps calm things down when results aren't going well.

TACTICAL FLUIDITY

Sometimes a team under pressure has to get back to basics. But Solskjaer trusted his players enough to try three at the back to nullify Liverpool at Old Trafford and used it again to great effect in the League Cup win against Chelsea on Wednesday night.

Integral to that has been the return of Marcos Rojo who is a natural as the left-sided centre half in a way that Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof aren't. The formation also suits Aaron wan-Bissaka who has the pace and tenacity to make recovery runs from further up the pitch.

What will please Solskjaer is that he has players who can buy into tactical tweaks dependent on the opposition. Against Liverpool, Rashford and James played as split strikers with both of them hunting for space between the centre halves and full backs, rather than either acting as an orthodox No 9. The variety in play is a good sign for the future.


Aaron Wan-Bissaka moved from right wing back to right back during Wednesday's win

FIXTURE LIST

United may feel the luck is starting to go with them. Their match against Liverpool was at Old Trafford where Jurgen Klopp's side have a poor record and they followed up with games against a modest Partizan Belgrade side and Norwich who are riddled with injuries. Chelsea picked a more inexperienced team than United for their Carabao Cup tie which also played into Solskjaer's hands.

Coming up next in the Premier League are Bournemouth, Brighton, Sheffield United and Aston Villa. Their next 'Big Six' opponent doesn't come until December 4 when they face Tottenham.

Solskjaer won't be getting carried away yet but he'll be privately disappointed if United aren't in the hunt for a top-four place approaching Christmas.

THE BONUS OF McTOMINAY

Unlike Pogba, Rashford or Mason Greenwood, there wasn't a big buzz about McTominay as he went through the United academy.

But after initially being given his first-team opportunity by Mourinho, the young Scotland international has shown he has the right mentality for a United player in that the bigger the stage, the better he responds.

There are still areas to improve upon you could see he was gutted by giving the ball away for Norwich's consolation goal at the weekend but many more pluses.

He has tactical discipline, clear leadership skills for a 22-year-old and is developing a goal threat as well, his strike against Norwich the 2,000th United have scored in the Premier League.

First regarded as a brief stand-in until United signed Declan Rice or Sean Longstaff, McTominay could be one of those stalwarts from the academy that have served the club so well in the past, following in the tradition of Nicky Butt and Fletcher.


Scott McTominay has been one of Man United's most consistent performers this season

Code:
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:54 AM   #107
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Default Re: Manchester United under Solskjaer

'This is a little bit of a template on how we want to play': Ole Gunnar Solskjaer challenges Manchester United squad to replicate attacking form they showed against Partizan Belgrade on a more regular basis to improve form

* Manchester United make light work of Partizan Belgrade to progress
* Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants his side to replicate their attacking 'template'
* Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford all netted on Thursday
* Solskjaer wants to see free-flowing attacking football on a more regular basis


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Manchester United have discovered an attacking 'template' after seeing his team despatch Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League.

Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were all on target as United answered their manager's call for a more adventurous performance.

Now Solskjaer hopes his team can do it on a more regular basis even though he accepts it will not always be this easy.

'This is a little bit of a template on how we want to play,' said the United boss.

'We needed a win but we needed a performance in which the boys wanted to go forward. We could have had loads more tonight, but it was a pleasing performance.

'You expect to win at home against teams like this, no disrespect by Partizan. We should have buried it in the first 10 minutes really. Going into half time with a 2-0 lead, you're confident.


Manchester United's attacking display against Partizan Belgrade can be a 'template' from now. That is the hope of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he urged his side to replicate it more regularly

'It was pleasing for me. We needed the second and third goals because too many times we're 1-0 up and haven't done that.

'But these boys are learning and tonight will give them loads of pointers of how we play when we're performing well. The opposition is not the same as Premier League but they are still good principles.

'That was the reason we played the three up front. I was very pleased with the finishes, all three were high class.

'Mason showed great composure, the keeper goes early and changes his mind. Anthony's is probably the skill of the night and I'm very pleased Marcus scored with his left foot because he'll need more goals with his left so he can go inside and outside.'

Victory puts United into the knockout phase ahead of their trip to Astana of Kazakhstan at the end of the month.


The Norwegian manager admits he was urging his side to add goals when they were 1-0 up

'We definitely wanted to get through as quickly as we can and that long trip is not one you want to travel to having to win,' added Solskjaer.

'It might be a possible to rest a few and be ready for a tough week after that game. We've got Villa, Spurs and City that week.'

Solskjaer was concerned about a foot injury sustained by Scott McTominay but the United midfielder said after the game that he didn't think it was too serious.

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Old 11-11-2019, 10:14 AM   #108
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Default Re: Manchester United under Solskjaer

'Now be boring!': Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tells Manchester United starlets to stay clear of the bright lights in bid to follow in the footsteps of Class of '92

* Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has installed his faith in youngsters at Manchester United
* Mason Greenwood, Brandon Williams and Tahith Chong have made the leap up
* But Solskjaer has warned his young charges to keep their focus on the pitch


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants his Manchester United kids to be thrill-seekers on the pitch - and boring off it.

Solskjaer has thrown in several youngsters, including 18-year-old Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams and Tahith Chong, both 19, as he starts a major rebuild at Old Trafford.

But the Norwegian has warned them to ignore the bright lights and private commercial temptations if they want to follow in the footsteps of the Class of 92 and have successful careers at Old Trafford.


Mason Greenwood (left) has broken through into the first-team squad, as has Brandon Williams

Some members of United's squad, including Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Scott McTominay, have had their social media presence and business tie-ups questioned, particularly with the team way adrift of rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.

Ahead of Sunday's home game against Brighton, Solskjaer said: 'When you're a footballer, you should be proper boring. You go to bed, rest, recover and get ready for the next game. You can do all the other stuff after your career.

'In between games from July to the middle of May, football should be your only thought. Then you have a summer holiday to do the other stuff. That's the way I was - boring. Loads of my team-mates were boring and that's why we became successful.'

United have qualified for the Europa League knockout stage but are sitting only 14th in the Premier League table after losing at Bournemouth last weekend.


United slumped to another disappointing defeat on the road last week against Bournemouth. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned his young stars not to waste careers with off-the-field antics

Solskjaer has not singled out individuals but made it clear he will not tolerate anyone who does not dedicate themselves. He is also against players being too active on social media, partly so they can avoid the 'haters' that destroy confidence.

'These are young boys,' he said. 'As soon as they realise the focus has to be on football and not other stuff, that's it. I am using the media now to tell them, "It's a boring life".

'I have told them, "Sorry, you're a footballer, get used to being bored". There are more distractions today but you don't have to read social media, you don't have to be in it.

'If you don't sacrifice, you're just passing through this club. The most successful ones have made sacrifices and stayed for a long time.'

Sir Alex Ferguson famously had informers at bars and hotels in Manchester so he knew what his players were up to. He once personally ejected a young Ryan Giggs and Lee Sharpe from a house party.

Solskjaer admits social media postings help him keep tabs. 'Now it's impossible for them to do something because I get to know!

'I want these boys to get the most out of their career. It is the best feeling in the world when you are part of a winning Manchester United team. That is what we are working for.'

Lingard was criticised for posting a crude video simulating sex on Snapchat last summer, while McTominay joined Lionel Messi after a handful of United appearances as one of the faces of football video game Pro Evolution Soccer.

Pogba has more than 37million Instagram followers and was very active over the summer when courting Real Madrid.

Of the next generation, Greenwood and Williams are both expected to feature on Sunday.

The United manager does want his players to be flamboyant on the pitch. 'Of course we are trying to develop a new culture and rebuild a new team,' said Solskjaer. 'We want to play attacking football like we did in the 3-0 victory against Partizan Belgrade on Thursday. That was an example of how we want to look.'

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Old 18-11-2019, 10:39 AM   #109
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Default Re: Manchester United under Solskjaer

Manchester United have won five of their last six games and local hero Marcus Rashford is starting to hit top form... but have they REALLY turned a corner or are they still papering over the cracks?

* Manchester United are starting to hit a bit of form after a slow start to the season
* Red Devils bounced back from a blip against Bournemouth by beating Brighton
* Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side face Sheffield United after the international break


It was said that Manchester United's loss at Bournemouth earlier this month was a reality check.

The defeat had ended a three-game winning streak and with it apparently any hope of continued progress. It was back to square one because of one bad result.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have felt disappointed come the end of that match which was settled by a moment of brilliance from Joshua King given the form they came into the game with.


Manchester United moved up to seventh following their comfortable win against Brighton. Marcus Rashford (left) has discovered his form while Anthony Martial is back to full fitness



But a loss at Bournemouth is not the abject humiliation it once was. And even fewer go to the south coast expecting to walk away with three points in the bag.

Winning at the Vitality Stadium is no easy feat. Last season, only six teams managed to beat them on their own patch in the Premier League four of which finished in the European places.

This season, City have been the only ones to accomplish it. Before that game United had put together a mini-run, beating Partizan Belgrade, a Norwich team who had recently dispatched City and Chelsea in the Carabao Cup.

OK, they scraped past Partizan thanks to a penalty and beat a weakened Chelsea courtesy of a wonder free-kick from Marcus Rashford, but this is not the United side of old and since when has a win at Stamford Bridge been something to sniff at?

Sir Alex Ferguson's United of yesteryear really would have had to do some soul searching if they had lost at Bournemouth while the United of today have to be pleased with three successive victories, whoever they come against and in whatever manner.

Too often does this United side get compared to the one that dominated English football for the best part of two decades. Why? It's futile. We know the answer. They aren't as good. Not even close.



But it continues to happen. It is why there have been claims that United's recent revival is only papering over the cracks. It's bonkers. How can consistency be misleading?

Let's be fair. They've had some good results by their standards. They may have taken a step backwards at the start of the season, but United are in a position to look forward again.

We all know that problems remain at United, and that they are far from being the finished article, but they deserve credit where credit is due. This string of decent results wouldn't have meant much back in the glory days, but it should now.

Maybe watching United build a dynasty over the years has triggered something in the sub-conscience, and that is why they are continually judged in comparison to the old United. But the fact is that they are not the top dogs anymore. Far from it.

And for a team who realistically were only ever expected to challenge for a top-six finish, their recent form has been impressive. Five wins, a draw against Liverpool, and one defeat at Bournemouth. There's certainly no shame in that.

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won his first eight games in charge of United, it was as though he had achieved the impossible.



The teams United beat then were: Cardiff, Huddersfield, Bournemouth (at Old Trafford), Newcastle, Reading (Cup), Tottenham, Brighton and Arsenal (Cup).

So, two teams that went down, two teams that were in the relegation battle and a Championship club.

Here are the sides United have faced in their last seven: Liverpool, Partizan, Norwich, Chelsea, Bournemouth, Partizan and a much-improved Brighton.

Certainly no world beaters there, but is there really a big difference between those two lists? The way some people have been talking, you would have thought United had only beaten teams from the Lithuanian second division.

You may expect United to beat Brighton at home and Norwich away, but given their early-season form, they were far from formalities.

United might not have won every game in their last seven, but remember they have been without both Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw two key figures of their side while going on this run, and have actually posted numbers similar to the ones when they went unbeaten in Solskjaer's first eight games in charge.

By that stretch, United are playing close to the level which is probably considered their best since Ferguson's departure.



In their last seven games, United have also conceded fewer than City and Liverpool, who have managed just as many wins as they have in their last outings in all competitions. When was the last time you could say United have won as many as Liverpool and City over a lengthy period?

They are also registering more expected goals than Liverpool, who are widely considered the best attacking team in the division.

Look at where United were before that draw with Liverpool and you'll see that they have made vast improvements over the past six weeks or so.

In the seven games preceding that match, United had won only two of them and actually scored nine goals fewer than they have in their previous seven.

A big part of their recent upturn in form has been Rashford. The England striker has rediscovered his scoring touch since finding the target in the draw with Jurgen Klopp's side.

Between October 20 and November 10, Rashford scored six times. Between August 31 and October 6, he only scored once.

He is also creating more chances, taking more shots and tripled his conversion rate since the beginning of October.

No one has mentioned who Rashford's goals have come against, though. So why is United's form being discredited?

It's true that United's next game against Sheffield United will tell us a lot more about their credentials with Chris Wilder's men flying high in fifth.

And after failing the Bournemouth test, Solskjaer will be eager for his men to pass this one and continue to move in the right direction.

It would be foolish to suggest United are something they are not. But considering the hole they found themselves in only last month they were 14th in the Premier League United have definitely turned a corner or at least began to.

Whether or not they take it and push forward is another thing.

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Old 25-11-2019, 10:25 AM   #110
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Default Re: Manchester United under Solskjaer

'I'd be more worried about the first 70 minutes... they turned up like a team of big heads today': Graeme Souness blasts Manchester United for dire start against Sheffield United after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised his team for comeback

* Graeme Souness criticised Manchester United after 3-3 draw at Bramall Lane
* Visitors were 2-0 down but then went 3-2 up before Sheffield United levelled
* Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised his side after game but Souness wasn't positive


Graeme Souness has hit out at Manchester United despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side managing to take a point away to Sheffield United in a dramatic encounter.

The game finished 3-3 at Bramall Lane, with Sheffield United having established a two-goal lead courtesy of efforts from John Fleck and Lys Mousset.

United, unexpectedly, pulled a goal back through Brandon Williams in the 72nd minute, with Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford also getting on the scoresheet.


Graeme Souness has criticised Manchester United after their draw against Sheffield United

However, Sheffield United secured a point courtesy of Oil McBurnie's late goal.

Despite only taking a point from the game, Solskjaer was delighted with his side's response to going two goals down. Souness, though, disagreed, saying that United 'turned up like a team of big heads'.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Souness said: 'I'm not sure how you can say you deserve to win. I'm not sure what pluses Ole will take from that.

'For me I'd be more worried about the first 70 minutes when we didn't turn up rather than the last 20 minutes.


United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised his side's determination after they came back

'The vast majority of times when they find themselves 2-0 down they won't get back in the game.

'They turned up like a team of big heads today - they just turned up and thought they'd get away with it.'

Solskjaer had praised his side after the game, stating that their response was better than last season, when they fell to a 4-0 defeat away to Everton.

Solskjaer said: 'It's football. Sometimes it's beyond tactics. The difference between this team and last year's team is huge. 2-0 down my mind's going back to Everton.

'No doubt about the drive and attitude of these boys. Last year we would have been 3,4,5 down. This is such a big stride forward for us.

'They looked like they wanted it more than us but sometimes it's little margins here and there. But the response after they went 2-0 up was fantastic.'

The result leaves United in ninth place in the Premier League - they have won just four of their 13 games so far this season.

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