Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has taken a dig at interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, insisting that the team still plays park-the-bus football.
In an interview with BBC, former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has claimed that the team’s style of play hasn’t changed under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Solskjaer was brought in by Manchester United towards the end of the last year to replace Jose Mourinho, who had been sacked. Since taking over, the Norwegian has sparked a sensational turnaround at United, leading them to 14 wins in 19 matches (D2 L2) across all competitions.
Under their former striker, Manchester United are back in the reckoning for the top four finish in the Premier League, while they have also progressed to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League.
The players have looked rejuvenated under Solskjaer, while the team has looked more threatening in the final third than they had under Mourinho, leading to a lot of praise from all quarters, as well as comparisons being drawn to the Sir Alex Ferguson era.
However, Van Gaal seems to believe that Manchester United’s style of play is very much the same under Solskjaer as it was under Mourinho, claiming that the only difference is the Norwegian is getting the results that his predecessor failed to.
Speaking to BBC, the Dutchman, who won the FA Cup with the Red Devils, said: “The coach after me [Mourinho] changed to park-the-bus tactics and played on the counter. Now there is another coach who parks the bus and plays on the counter. The main difference between Mourinho and Solskjaer is that Solskjaer is winning.
“But the way Manchester United are playing now is not the way Ferguson played. It is defensive, counter-attacking football. If you like it, you like it. If you think it is more exciting than my boring attacking, OK. But it is not my truth.”
However, Van Gaal did acknowledge that the atmosphere around Old Trafford is much better than it was under Mourinho, while he also went on to claim that the Red Devils have a chance of going all the way in the Champions League this season.
“I am not there but there does look to be a change and the atmosphere seems to be better. It is also true that Solskjaer has changed Paul Pogba’s position and put him into an area where he is much more important.
“Solskjaer has just lost twice and he has to manage that. It is very important that Manchester United qualifies for the Champions League, as it was when I was manager. But they can also win the Champions League because they play a defensive system and it is very difficult to beat them, which, whether you like it or not, is the result of Mourinho’s work.”
Solskjaer’s exploits with Manchester United have seen him become the favourite to land the managerial post on a permanent basis, with his former teammate Teddy Sheringham claiming that he has already been handed the job.