Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dismisses idea of replicating Pep Guardiola's tactics

Tom Gott
Solskjaer does not want to mimic Guardiola
Solskjaer does not want to mimic Guardiola / Michael Regan/Getty Images
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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shrugged off the idea that he should adjust his tactics to mirror those of Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola's free-scoring side are odds-on favourites to win a domestic treble this season, whereas Solskjaer has faced real criticism for his preferred style of play. United have failed to score in three consecutive games and have been accused of relying to heavily on counter-attacks.

Pep Guardiola
Guardiola's methods have brought him plenty of success / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Ahead of Sunday's derby between the two sides, Solskjaer was asked whether he had ever considered trying to mimic the style of Guardiola, who has won no fewer than eight league titles across his time with City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but the Norwegian insisted he has faith in his methods.

“We all have philosophies and beliefs in ways to win games,” Solskjaer said (via The Guardian). “There have been loads of different ways of being successful – we as a club have been successful, I feel we are improving and getting closer to winning things.

“I have always believed in my way of playing football and sometimes you look at other managers and think you’ll adopt one little thing from his way of playing, one little thing from another. Every manager builds a team around a club’s culture.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Solskjaer still trusts his system / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

“We have a culture at Man Utd that we want to stick to: traditions, built from Sir Matt [Busby] and Sir Alex [Ferguson]: pace, power, quick attacks. No one has invented any style by themselves. They have taken little bits from other managers and teams and I have taken a lot of my football philosophy from the time I was here at Man Utd and in Norway [as a player].

"I had some great coaches there with the same beliefs that we have to attack quickly when there is the chance and the opposition is out of balance then you counterattack.

“All the best teams can counterattack. All the best teams can break down a deep block. It’s about players – the quality [of them] and we are getting there – and getting better in most parts of our game."

Solskjaer went on to confess that his squad does not have the same strength in depth as City, but he insisted United are moving in the right direction in that regard.

“It is getting deeper and better. Some need experience: Alex [Telles], Donny [van de Beek], Edinson [Cavani], Amad [Diallo] and Facundo [Pellistri] had not played in the Premier League,” he said.


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