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“I know…” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer offers Erik ten Hag advice amid Man United difficulties



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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer offered Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag some key words of advice last year, which the Dutchman could focus on under current difficulties.

Solskjaer, 54, was in charge at Old Trafford between December 2018 and November 2021.

The Norweigan managed to finish in the Premier League’s top three in back-to-back seasons but ultimately failed to win silverware at the club where he spent 11 years as a player.

He was sacked following a poor start to the season after major additions in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane in the summer transfer window before the campaign.

Ten Hag is now going through a similarly difficult spell as United boss. His team are out of the Champions League and Carabao Cup, whilst sitting eighth in the Premier League table.

Whilst injuries have proven to be a major issue this term, Ten Hag has also been criticised for his player management, with Jadon Sancho’s situation being one that splits opinion.

However, Sancho provided a clear issue once he released his statement. Ten Hag was right to exclude him from his squad but there are arguments that elsewhere – with his management of Raphael Varane for example – he needs to improve his man-management.

Solskjaer, whilst speaking to The Athletic earlier this season, explained the unfortunate balance a manager at Old Trafford needs to strike in the modern day in terms of ensuring you’re treating the individuals in the squad correctly off-the-pitch, but identify those who think about themselves before the team.

“I know what he’s going through. It’s a dream job, but it’s difficult,” noted Solskjaer. “You’re dealing with humans with all their problems and backgrounds — this isn’t a computer simulation.

“But most are good professionals who want to do well. Some think about No.1 first, and most think of the club.”

Ten Hag is now looking to impress new bosses as Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the Ineos team take over sporting control at the club.

He will be offered a more stable base and surroundings if he is able to convince them to keep him in the role. However, he might need to address how he handles his squad, as well as his tactics on the pitch, in order to ensure that happens.