'I don’t know Robin and Robin doesn’t know me' - Solskjaer dismisses Van Persie criticism

The Norwegian thinks his players have been targeted by a number of teams this season due to their electrifying pace on the counter
The Norwegian thinks his players have been targeted by a number of teams this season due to their electrifying pace on the counter

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has brushed off criticism received from Robin van Persie in the wake of his side's reverse at the hands of Arsenal. 

The Reds went down 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on New Year's Day, with goals from Nicolas Pepe and Sokratis ensuring a rotten afternoon for the visitors. 

Defeat means United remain some distance behind Chelsea and the final Champions League qualifying spot, currently trailing the Blues by five points; and it also invited some strong words from former Arsenal and United man Van Persie

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

"When I listen to Ole, he sounds like a really nice guy," the Dutchman told BT Sport following Wednesday's game.

"I would like to see him a bit more mean at times, just be angry.

"I see him smiling now after a game like that. This is not the moment to smile."

Solskjaer, however, gave short shrift to the former forward, suggesting he was not familiar with his managerial methods. 

“I don’t know Robin and Robin doesn’t know me,” Solskjaer told reporters on Friday.

“He probably doesn’t have a right to criticise my management style and I won’t change. That’s definite.”

Van Persie inherited Solskjaer's No. 20 shirt at Old Trafford upon joining in 2012, but the Norwegian is no mood to yield anything else to the former player.

“He took my No. 20 and that’s probably all he’s going to take from me as well,” he added,

“I’m not in medieval times.”

Wednesday's setback came off the back of a run of more positive form for Solskjaer's men, with five wins, three draws and just one defeat between November 2's loss to Bournemouth and their New Year's woes seeing United leave mid-table behind and close the gap on fourth place. 

Now, they will turn their attentions to the FA Cup, where a daunting all-Premier League clash awaits. 

Molineux will host Saturday's third-round clash between the Reds and Wolves, who sit just one point behind United as they seek an historic Champions League qualification themselves. 

Premier League duties then resume on January 10, with bottom side Norwich City set to visit Old Trafford.

What to read next