Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opened up on the ‘difficult’ nature of the Manchester United manager’s position and his lowest point in charge of the club.
Solskjaer spent almost three years in charge of the Red Devils after taking the position on an initial caretaker basis, but was sacked in November 2021 with the club seventh in the Premier League table.
United have gone a decade without a Premier League title, a period which has seen five permanent managers at Old Trafford.
Erik ten Hag is currently under pressure after three defeats in five Premier League games this season and Solskjaer admits the role has changed given the strength of competition across England’s top division.
“No, but it’s difficult, especially for managers following one of the best managers ever,” Solskjaer told The Athletic on whether the Manchester United job was ‘impossible’.
“The expectations are very high but we can’t live in the same era as when I played. We had Arsenal and Chelsea as rivals towards the end. Now, most teams have money or even if they don’t, they don’t need to sell.
“Back then, Wayne (Rooney) and Cristiano (Ronaldo) were the best young players and we signed them. Now, United can’t just go and buy Evan Ferguson. We couldn’t buy the players I mentioned to the club.”
Solskjaer opened up further on the strength of rival teams and believes his time at United coincided with the best Manchester City and Liverpool teams of all time.
The Norwegian discussed a 5-0 home defeat to the latter at Old Trafford and described that loss as his lowest moment as manager.
“Those City and Liverpool teams were the best that their clubs, with fantastic managers, have ever had. I know that’s a bold statement because Liverpool were so good in the ’80s, but they were a fantastic side under Jurgen Klopp.
“In my last season, we played Liverpool at home. I felt the players were ready for it, just like I’d felt they were ready when we’d gone to City and won. We could have sat back and countered but my decision was to go for it. We lost 5-0. It was 50/50, more or less, in possession and chances at half-time, yet we were 4-0 down.
“I made the wrong decision and that was my lowest point as United manager by a mile. Roberto Firmino was probably the opposition player who caused me the most problems as a manager.”
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