Manchester United: Van Gaal and Mourinho slam Solskjaer's tactics

Ex-Manchester United managers Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have criticized current head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the Red's recent slump. The former accused the Norwegian manager of playing the same 'anti-football' seen during Jose's stint while the Portuguese manager also found fault in the approach used by the Red Devils during Wednesday's Champions League defeat to Barcelona.

Louis Van Gaal, who was succeeded in 2016 by Jose Mourinho insisted that Solskjaer has been 'parking the bus' ever since he took over the reins at Old Trafford in December 2018. As a result, the retired Dutch manager has advised the former Manchester United striker to change his methods or face the sack in coming years.

"I can see how Ole had some impact in the beginning, because United was ninth in the table when he took over and the team was nothing," Van Gaal said on Dutch sports channel Ziggo.

"United had been playing anti-football, as I call it, but don't think that Ole isn't afraid to park the bus either — he is more defensive than you think.

"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 defense 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.

"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."

On the subject of the European cup competition, Jose Mourinho was quick to pinpoint where Solskjaer got it all wrong when Manchester United went crashing out in the quarter-final against Barcelona. 

"Lots of mistakes, lots of goals with awful defending on the inside foot,' Mourinho told Russia Today.

"You look to Coutinho's goal, even to Messi's goal. 

"I think United's approach was different. I think in the first game they tried to occupy that central zone because Messi's position is easy to understand but is not easy to create a cage to control him.

"Because he comes from the right, then stays in the middle, and then [Ivan] Rakitic defends on the right and allows him to stay in the middle between the lines. It's very difficult.

"Manchester United in the first match, zonally, they occupied that central area very well. So when he came into the inside he was finding Fred, he was finding [Scott] McTominay coming to the inside all the time.

"In this match, maybe because Man United were losing 1-0, they tried to start the game with a different perspective.

"And then it was [Paul] Pogba wide on the left and McTominay much more on the right and Jesse Lingard playing as a No 10 behind the strikers. And in front of the defensive line was only Fred. 

"Barcelona is Barcelona, they are a better team than Manchester United, they have better players than Manchester United. I think it's normal they won."

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