Friday, February 22, 2019

Solskjaer to United: Cardiff stint not relevant to Old Trafford challenge, says Berg

SoccerNews in English Championship 19 Dec 2018

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Henning Berg is not concerned by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s failed stint at Cardiff City, believing the new interim Manchester United manager faces a very different challenge at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer was appointed as United’s caretaker boss on Wednesday, replacing Jose Mourinho until the end of the season, but his previous experience in the Premier League was not successful, overseeing Cardiff’s relegation in 2014.

However, the former Norway forward twice guided Molde to the Tippeligaen title, which compatriot and former team-mate Berg believes will prove more relevant at a giant like United.

“I look at [Cardiff] as an experience for him, where he has tested himself in this league, but with a team that is fighting relegation and not a team that is looking to compete at the other end of the table,” Berg told Sky Sports.

“Those are two completely different things. When you have players winning one game out of four, compared to teams that are supposed to win three games out of four, the mentality is completely different. I don’t think that will have too much impact on the job he does at United now.

“I think the job he did at Molde [winning two titles] was much closer to how he would like to work as a manager at United, in terms of how he worked with the players, how he played offensive football, how he handled the squad, how he needed to rotate sometimes, how he found the different tactics.

“When he was at Molde, of course teams played more defensively against him, against a good team. He needed to break it down. He’s been successful in Norway, in two terms now, and I think he’s got good enough experience to do a good job with United until the end of the season.”

Jaap Stam, who won the treble with United alongside Solskjaer and Berg in 1998-99, is also confident the new man is a good fit, believing he can get the best out of the likes of Paul Pogba who struggled under Mourinho.

“He knows the culture of the club, the fans like him as well,” Stam said. “Ole is the type of manager, as far as I know, who wants to play attacking football, he wants to go forward.

“I think Ole’s personality is good, he can work with young players, talented players, giving players a certain feeling as well, what they need.

“We all talk about players being bought for like £100million or £150million but a player needs to have an arm around his shoulder and needs to hear sometimes ‘you’re a good player, you’re a great player’, that gives them a great feeling, or ‘you’re needed to do well for the club’.

“I think Ole is very good at doing that, he’s got a football brain and he knows tactically what to do.”

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