Football News

How Solskjaer’s Man Utd mirrors the Liverpool Jurgen Klopp inherited – Gary Neville

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 15:27, 6 September 2019

Gary Neville believes Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer inherited a similar predicament which faced Jurgen Klopp when he took over the reins at Liverpool.

The 46-year-old Norwegian coach returned to Old Trafford, where he enjoyed an illustrious playing career, last December following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.

Life as interim manager began well as the Red Devils would claim eight successive victories in all competitions before Burnley held them to a 2-2 draw at home. They would go on to win six of their next nine matches before the powers that be appointed him on a full-time basis.

However, it’s been a struggle ever since, with Man Utd having won just three of their last 15 games. And they’ve started this season with one win from four which has seen growing murmurs of whether or not Solskjaer is the right man.

Neville, his former teammate, has quelled that question by attempting to add some perspective, suggesting Solskjaer joined with a squad no different to the one current Liverpool manager Klopp found at Anfield in October 2015.

United were expected to be super active in the recent summer transfer window, but only brought in three major acquisitions and Neville feels only one of them has stood out in terms of explaining their playing style under Solskjaer, though adds that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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“Solskjaer is working more with a squad like the one Klopp picked up at Liverpool than the one Guardiola inherited at City,” he said on his Sky Sports podcast.

“From that point of view this is going to be a long game at Old Trafford and it’s going to be frustrating at times. There are going to be results like Southampton, Wolves and Crystal Palace along the way.

“But when you watch the team a lot of the principles are correct. They seem to be playing the right way. You see Daniel James score that goal (at St Mary’s) and you see the way in which they are trying to play.

“The style of it is right. The bones are there but there’s still a very long way to go. It’s going to be bumpy along the way.”

Solskjaer’s struggles: Five key things to know…

  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho as interim Man Utd boss last December.
  • The Red Devils would go on to win 14 of their opening 24 matches under him.
  • He would then be appointed full-time Man Utd manager, but has won three of their next 15 games.
  • United have begun this season with one win from their first four Premier League outings.
  • Gary Neville believes Solskjaer is where Jurgen Klopp was when he became Liverpool manager.