Premier League

Tactically inept? Man Utd boss Solskjaer says best teams don't chop and change

The Norwegian insists he does not pay attention to critics ahead of Sunday's huge match against champions Liverpool at Anfield.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels Man Utd players are comfortable with his style Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels Man Utd players are comfortable with his style
10:49am on Sunday 17th January 2021
Chris Myson

Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at critics of his tactical ability.

Solskjaer insists creating a comfortable environment for his players is the most important part of his role.

And he feels United's improved recent performances - they are unbeaten in 11 Premier League games - provide proof that his approach has merit.

Solskjaer was speaking ahead of a crucial match away to champions Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

United go into the game with a surprise three-point advantage over Liverpool at the top of the table. Leicester City moved to within a point of United on Saturday.

Liverpool v Man Utd: Preview, team and player statistics

It is the first time United have led the standings at this stage of a season since Sir Alex Ferguson's last season in charge at Old Trafford.

Still, going into the match Solskjaer was asked about the criticism he often receives and whether it is unfair that he gets labelled "tactically inept".

Solskjaer said to Stadium Astro: "I don't really read or hear too much so if that is the narrative that is alright with me.

"You know, I'm sure absolutely every manager in the world can probably sit and find probably the best way of getting a result in this game and in any individual game.

"We have proven that many times ourselves against PSG a couple of times away from home, in the big games, and you think you should do that every time.

"But for me the big thing is that we to create a way that all the players are comfortable with.

"Find a way going into every single game confident on this is what we are going to do, maybe tweak it a little bit but we have to find a style that we believe is going to give us results in the long run without having to change.

"The best teams in the world that win things, they trust themselves, they don't chop and change ways of playing for every single one of them.

"Yeah, a couple of tweaks or a change here and there is possible, but it is also about the players, players out there performing to their capabilities. You see the players now playing really well.

"So it is not always the great manager who wins games and the bad one who loses games, sometimes it is fine margins.

"We are working on a way that the team will feel comfortable going into every game."

Asked what he felt his tactical identity was, Solskjaer confirmed he drew upon his experiences under Ferguson as well as some of the great United teams that he was part of.

He added: "I have been affected by my many, many years here as a player and then as a coach after playing, and now back as a manager.

"Traditionally the best Man United teams have quick attacks and fast players.

"We break quickly, we have got quality individuals who can make a difference, we have got width.

"I think if you see a video reel of the best goals, many are individual quality or quick counter-attacks.

"Cristiano Ronaldo free-kicks, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo counter-attacks, [goals from] Giggsy, Beckham, so of course I'm very, very influenced by the years I spent here under Sir Alex."

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