Ole Gunnar Solskjaer intends to honour the traditions of Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson by building his Manchester United side around “pace, power and quick attacks”.
United face a record-breaking Manchester City side at the Etihad today and the success Pep Guardiola has achieved at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City has led to some copycat ideas in how the game is played.
Guardiola has rewritten the coaching manual during his managerial career and his sides have been revolutionary and entertaining, as well as complex tactically.
But Solskjaer rejected the idea that he could try and emulate that approach at United, instead preferring to follow the traditions of the club and his own instincts.
“Every manager builds a team around a club’s culture. We have a culture at Man United that we want to stick to, traditions, built from Sir Matt and Sir Alex, pace, power, quick attacks. We all have philosophies and beliefs in ways to win games of football,” he said.
“There have been loads of different ways of being successful, I think we as a club have been successful, I feel we are improving and getting closer to winning things. I have always believed in my way of playing football and sometimes you look at other managers and think you’ll adopt one little thing from his way of playing, one little thing from another.
“I was the same as a player. I couldn’t be the same as Becks but I always wanted to cross the ball as well as Becks. I couldn’t be the same player as Giggsy but I like to dribble as good as Giggsy and be on the front foot.”
Solskjaer is of the belief that there is very little that is new in football and his own philosophy to the game is structured on his experiences as a player under Ferguson and back in his native Norway.
“No one has invented any style by themselves. They have taken little bits from other managers and teams and I have taken a lot of my football philosophy of course from the time I was here at Man United and to be honest in Norway,” he said.
“I had some great coaches there with the same beliefs that we have to attack quickly when there is the chance and the opposition is out of balance you counter-attack.
“I think all the best teams can counter attack. All the best teams can break down a deep block. It’s about players, as I’ve said. It’s the quality and we are getting there and we are getting better in most parts of our game.”