Manchester United were brutally ripped apart for their lack of proper management under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by Michael Owen. The former Manchester United forward went on a long rant, slamming Solskjaer’s tactics at Old Trafford.
Speaking after the Red Devils’ 2-0 loss to Manchester City at Old Trafford over the weekend, Owen said:
“Manchester United have collected a fantastic array of players but they don’t look like a team whereas Pep Guardiola, whatever team he manages, they’ve got a distinct style of play.”
Owen also criticized the mindless attitude while collecting star players at Manchester United.
“That’s what you look for in a manager and a coach is to put your impression on it. It’s a surprise when you turn up and with Manchester United you don’t know what formation they’re going to play. They are collecting a load of players, all these great players from around the world and they are chopping and changing all the time.”
He went on to slam Solskjaer’s makeshift tactics rather than implementing a philosophy.
“You’ve got to be able to look further than the end of your nose and think this is the way we’re going to play no matter what. We are going to buy players for these positions and now let’s play this way. If things go wrong and you concede five against Liverpool you don’t think, ‘the defence is rubbish let’s go and put one more player in there’. It’s ridiculous.”
Owen cited Klopp’s system at Liverpool as an example of what Manchester United should follow.
“I go back to what Jurgen Klopp did at Liverpool and he’s the best exponent at it he came in and said this is how we’ll play, our full-backs will bomb forward, we are going to have a sitting midfield and play three up front. It weeds out the weak. The poor players get weeded out because they get exposed in a formation.”
Michael Owen wants Manchester United to adhere to a certain philosophy
The former Manchester United forward requested Solskjaer to stop shielding the weak players at the club.
“All Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does, as soon as there is a weak player he covers for him and puts even more defenders in and in the meantime you’re buying hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of players. Don’t do that, weed out the weak, if you’re not good enough get someone else.”
Owen also called for Manchester United to figure out their philosophy and stop adapting to opponents like a mid-table team.
“All they are doing at the moment is covering for weaknesses and looking at next week and thinking ‘good team let’s play loads of defenders’. Bad team, let’s play a load of attackers. It’s rubbish, that’s not how you go about things. You need a long-term plan. Weed out the rubbish if that’s the case but you have to go through a bit of pain on the way. If their target is to win the league then that’s how they’ve got to do it.”
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Manchester United have won just one of their last seven matches across all competitions. They are currently sixth in the Premier League and have already exited the EFL Cup, though they lead their UEFA Champions League group.