As Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær must withstand criticism from former teammates. Now he strikes back at a couple of them.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær is well used to the pressure the managerial responsibility at Manchester United brings with it, after almost two and a half years in the manager’s chair at Old Trafford.
In a recent Q&A, where Sky Sports viewers sent in questions to the Norwegian, he comes up with a little trick for two old teammates.
Stick to Neville and Keane
Roy Keane and Gary Neville both work as experts in Sky Sports, and Manchester United’s performances are evaluated weekly with a critical eye, without Solskjær getting upset.
– They know what standards are required in Manchester United, so when they are cursed at us, it’s okay. That’s their job. They have both been managers, so they know what the standards are here and what is required of a manager. They know what we are going through every day. How well they have succeeded, they know themselves, says Solskjær with a clever smile.
There is little doubt that he aims for the duo to never strike out as managers after their playing careers.
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Roy Keane led Sunderland to promotion in 2006-2007 and kept the club in the Premier League the following season. In season three, he left the club in December after poor results.
Iren was not a success in Ipswich and was fired in 2011 after barely two years in the Championship club. He has since only been assistant coach for Ireland, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.
Gary Neville has an even weaker managerial career behind him. The former right-back was surprisingly hired as Valencia manager in December 2015, only with experience as an assistant on the English national team. After barely four months in Spain, he was fired after poor three victories in 16 games.
– Gary talks too much
Solskjær makes no secret of the fact that the United players listened when captain Keane spoke. With Neville, it was perhaps a little different.
– We listened more to Roy than to Gary, that’s for sure. Gary probably talked too much, and he still does. That’s just the way Gary is, and we got used to it. He has good opinions, and both talk a lot. If there is one you do not oppose, it is Roy Keane, says Solskjær.
When asked to highlight a player from Manchester United’s triple-winning 1999 team, as he could imagine in today’s team, he is in no doubt.
– If I had to pick one player, they would be Roy Keane. He was a leader, the way he played, the way he pushed everyone, I had to choose him, says Solskjær.
The United manager must do without Roy Keane when Manchester United meet Brighton at Old Trafford this weekend. Kick-off is Sunday at 20.30.
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