Robin van Persie has called on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to find a ruthless streak at Manchester United and be ‘more mean’ after a 2-0 defeat away at Arsenal. Van Persie, working as a TV pundit for the game between his old clubs, was bemused having watched Solskjaer look unfazed during his post-match interview.
For the Dutchman, ‘nice guy’ Solskjaer needs to get tough with this squad if they are to have any chance of success. I look at Ole and he seems like a really nice guy,’ Van Persie said on BT Sport ‘I would like to see him a bit more edgy, a bit more mean at times. He’s smiling after a game like that. This is not the moment to smile.
When asked if this United side fear the Norwegian boss, Van Persie admitted that it is ‘probably’ lacking in the dressing room right now. You need a bit of fear as well for your coach, but first, you need a game plan,’ he said. If you have that then you know if you don’t make those runs, if don’t past the balls, you will get punished. You will not play the next game.’
Solskjaer was seen smiling as he prepared to begin his post-match interview and that is likely to irritate supporters after they missed the chance to gain ground in the race for the top four. Chelsea drew with Brighton earlier in the day while Tottenham and Wolves suffered defeats to Southampton and Watford respectively. United was comfortably beaten at the Emirates Stadium with goals from £72million summer signing Nicolas Pepe and Sokratis on target to hand Mikel Arteta his first win since taking charge.
While acknowledging the sentiments of Van Persie, Rio Ferdinand, alongside him as a pundit, is convinced Solskjaer has it in him to get tough if required, pointing to his time as a player as an indicator of another side to him. There might be a different Ole in the changing room,’ Ferdinand added. ‘That’s what you’d hope.
‘He can be very cut-throat, very cold with the things he used to say to players, but Manchester United need consistency. Big teams win 10, 15 games in a row. Solskjaer confirmed after the match that United are looking at ‘one or two additions’ in the January transfer window as they look to put together a sequence of results to secure a top-four finish. We know we are fit, we know we are getting better, the boys have really worked hard over the last few months,’ he told BT Sport.
‘We’ve had ups and downs and I can’t fault them because the energy and drive have been there, and today maybe it caught up with us but we’ll bounce back again. On the January window, he added: ‘Well you can see the squad and yeah, one or two additions could do nicely because we are building towards something and it just depends on what we think is right for us will be available.
In other news – Australia Cricket and tennis stars pay tribute to those affected by bushfires
Australia and New Zealand’s cricketers will wear black armbands in tribute to those affected by widespread bushfires in Australia when the teams meet in Friday’s third Test in Sydney.
At least 18 people have died in blazes across the country.
There will also be a minute’s applause to honour the country’s firefighters.
“We pray conditions to improve, the fires ease and the rains come,” said Australia coach Justin Langer and captain Tim Paine in a joint letter. read more