- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked as Manchester United boss in November 2021
- He achieved 78 wins from his 149 matches, of which the Red Devils lost 38
- Listen to the latest episode of the Mail Sport podcast ‘It all begins!’
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that there was one player who consistently caused him problems during his time as Manchester United boss.
Solskjaer returned to the club as manager after a legendary playing career at Old Trafford, where he played a crucial role in the 1999 Treble-winning side and told how his time at the club fell apart. in a Athletic interview.
However, despite his glorious playing days, he was unable to have the same impact in the dugout, with his side losing 38 games and drawing a further 33 in his 149-game spell at the helm of a side that was largely unsuccessful .
The Norwegian club icon failed to win a single piece of silverware in his time, although his team did reach the final of the Europa League, only losing on penalties to Unai Emery’s Villarreal.
Despite having losing records against rivals Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal, he revealed in his first in-depth interview since being sacked in November 2021 that there was one opponent in particular who caused him problems.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won 78 of his 149 games in charge of Manchester United and lost 38
His team had a losing record against Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal
He admitted in his first in-depth interview since being fired that one play in particular was causing him problems
Your browser does not support iframes.
“In my last season we played at home against Liverpool,” he told The Athletic. ‘I felt the players were ready, just like I felt they were ready when we went to City and won. We could have sat back and responded, but my decision was to go for it.
‘We lost 5-0. It was more or less 50/50 in possession and chances at half time, but we were still 4-0 down. I made the wrong decision and that was by far my lowest point as United manager.
‘Roberto Firmino was probably the opponent who caused me the most problems as a manager. The 6-1 defeat at home to Spurs was different and was influenced by a send-off.’
Firmino scored twice against Man United in October 2021, but his real talent was not in scoring goals, but in his positional awareness and ability to lose markers when linking midfield and attack.
The match in question took place just five games before his departure, and just three before a 2-0 defeat to City, both at home.
Liverpool topped Solskjaer’s Man United side, losing just once and beating their rivals four times in eight meetings – a period many Reds fans are likely to remember fondly.
Similarly, Man City defeated his side five times – the most of any Premier League team – although United have exacted their own revenge four times.
Despite an initial recovery in results, United’s performances largely deteriorated towards the end of Solskjaer’s stewardship.
Roberto Firmino (centre) scored twice as Man United were beaten 5-0 at home by Liverpool
The Brazilian would score a total of four goals against Man United before leaving for Al-Ahli in 2023
While he may have battled rivals on the pitch and outsmarted them tactically at times, the Norwegian has since claimed he was the victim of competing egos in the dressing room – with Cristiano Ronaldo at the heart of the side in his final season. .
“It was a decision that was very difficult to refuse and I felt we had to make it, but it turned out wrong,” Solskjaer added. ‘It felt so good when he signed and the fans felt that in that Newcastle game when Old Trafford was turned upside down (Ronaldo scored twice in a 4-1 win).
‘When you have a group, you want everyone to go in the same direction. When things didn’t go well, you saw certain players and egos come out.’
Solskjaer was replaced by Ralf Rangnick until the end of the season, before the German was sacked at the end of his tenure to be replaced by Erik ten Hag, as he did not exercise his option to move upstairs to become an advisor .
Solskjaer also added that he believes his position at United was ultimately weakened by egos