Man Utd boss Solskjaer makes Sir Alex Ferguson and Pep Guardiola comparison

By Mirror: Tuesday, January 7th 2020 at 17:22 GMT +3 | Premier League
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has piled praise on Pep Guardiola. [Courtesy]

Pep Guardiola has changed the face of English football with his record-breaking Manchester City side.

City's revered passing style, relentless winning mentality and 198-point haul over the past two seasons has raised the bar to new heights in the Premier League.

Gary Lineker claimed on Twitter that Guardiola had changed the entire course of the English game from a direct style of play to total football, following his arrival at City in 2016.

But ahead of Tuesday night's Carabao Cup semi-final tie between United and City, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his former boss Sir Alex Ferguson – who won 13 Premier League titles - had a greater influence on the English game than Guardiola, who has won back-to-back leagues.

“I must say Pep's had a big, big influence and, ever since he took over at Barcelona, I've admired Pep’s teams,” said Solskjaer.

“But, I've got to say, I worked under the most influential one.

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“For me, it's great to see one of the best managers ever and you can see where he's taken his wisdom from.

Marcus Rashford helped put Man City to the sword last month. [Courtesy]

“I had the pleasure of speaking and meeting Johan Cruyff back in the day when Jordi was here and you can see certain similarities.”

When Solskjaer was playing for United, the notion of perennial under-achievers City usurping them as the dominant force in Manchester, let alone the country, was a fanciful notion.

But Sheikh Mansour's huge financial investment, coupled with consistently impressive recruitment, has seen City overtake United, even though Liverpool have set the standard this season.

Solskjaer acknowledged City's current superiority but said United had never shirked a challenge and vowed to do everything he can to take the Reds back to the top.

“It's a different era and a different time,” said Solskjaer. “When the owners came in [at City] you knew they were going to go for it.

“We're still, in our own heads, one of the biggest club in the world, but we know that’s going to take time.

“I’m never surprised at anything in football and, with what they’ve done, they deserve to be where they are.”

Asked if United - who have finished behind City in the league for the last six seasons since Ferguson retired – can get back above them, Solskjaer said: “That’s what we have to go for at this club.

“That’s what we have to aim for. That’s what we're here for - to take on the challenges given to us. We've been down and we’ve always come back.

“For me, when you watch City, you have to admire what they're trying to do on the pitch and they're sticking true to their values and beliefs.

“But we beat them a month ago, so we know we can beat them. We played a really good game.

“We had eight, nine or 10 quick attacks in the first-half that could easily have been three or four goals because we created three or four chances.

“You have to beat the press, because they're very good at regaining the ball quickly.

“If you can go past it or if you can get past the first press, you have a good chance.”

 

 

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