Solskjaer boosted by Mourinho’s work, claims Van Gaal
27 Mar 2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made a remarkable impact since arriving as Manchester United’s interim boss. File / Reuters
London: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s success at Manchester United is partly due to the work of his predecessor Jose Mourinho, according to former Old Trafford chief Louis Van Gaal.
Solskjaer has made a remarkable impact since arriving as United’s interim boss in December following Mourinho’s sacking. The Norwegian has won 10 times in 13 Premier League games to put United back in the hunt for a top four finish, while leading them to the Champions League quarter-finals after a stunning victory over Paris Saint Germain.
Van Gaal, who spent two seasons at United before being replaced by Mourinho in 2016, insists the Portuguese coach’s tactics have laid the foundations for Solskjaer to build on. He also suggested United played more exciting football in his time at the helm than they do now.
Van Gaal’s claims seem at odds with the more entertaining football played by United since Solskjaer started a reign that looks set to bring him the manager’s job on a permanent basis.
“The way Manchester United are playing now is not the way Ferguson played,” Van Gaal said on Tuesday.
“It is defensive, counter-attacking football. If you like it, you like it. If you think it is more exciting than my boring attacking, OK. But it is not my truth. Solskjaer has just lost twice and he has to manage that. It is very important that Manchester United qualifies for the Champions League. As it was when I was manager.
“But they can also win the Champions League because they play a defensive system and it is very difficult to beat them, which, whether you like it or not, is the result of Mourinho’s work.”