Louis van Gaal: Ole has not changed the style of football at Man United
Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has said that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not been able to change the style of football at the club.
Van Gaal has said that he has been a keen observer of United this season, and despite the magnificent run of games that the club went on at the start of the Norwegian's reign, he's actually implemented a similar style to his predecessor Jose Mourinho.
"I can see how Ole had some impact in the beginning, because United were ninth in the table when he took over and the team was nothing," Van Gaal told Ziggo.
"I have been watching the team, because I always look at United still, and Ole parked the bus against Arsenal. He did it against Tottenham in the league. And at stages against Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in the Champions League.
"He plays against all the big teams like that. The emphasis is more on defending than on attacking or wanting to play dominant football. I actually call it parking the bus. Ole does it not just outside the 18-yard box. He parks the bus right in front of [goalkeeper] David De Gea.
"When United play that way, they play 4-4-2 and play counter attacking football with Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku.
"They are gambling on the speed of those two because they are faster than their opponents when they get the space. Rashford’s pace is incredible. You don’t catch him when he breaks away.
"But if Man United want to be a dominant force in Europe again, and in England, they have to have a different playing style.
"The problem as a foreign manager is that you find out that the English football culture is different from Germany and Spain.
"In those countries, you work on things in training. In England, everything is done by playing matches. They get fitter or gain stamina by playing lots of matches.
"It is a culture you cannot change easily. I wanted to change things, but it proved very difficult. Ole revived the squad and he won a lot of matches when he first started. They went up to third in the Premier League, but they have dropped back to sixth.
"But when I look at the style of football, I have to say he has not changed it. It is explainable. Defending is easier than attacking.
"I saw so many games of United over the last year or so. Both Mourinho and Solskjaer are not afraid to play in a defensive way all the time. That is not good enough for Man United.
"Now it is the time where trophies can be won and they are not even in a position where they can claim a Champions League spot."
United at the time of writing are on the verge of losing their fifth consecutive away game as they trail 4-0 to Everton and Solskjaer said that the club cannot afford to carry players.
“As a club we cannot carry players,” the manager said. “Everyone has to take ownership, keep improving, show that hunger that you want to get better individually and as a team.
“I’m not just talking about Alexis. Everyone is under the same demands. But if we are talking about Alexis, he hasn’t been lucky with injuries.
“Since I came in, he’s had two long-term injuries and that hasn’t been beneficial to him. Some other players have had injuries as well. But I see the characters we have. I am looking at who we should keep, who we should move on.
“Alexis has got a fantastic talent when he’s at his best level. Now we want him performing for us.”