EPL

Solskjaer not worried about job security despite Pochettino rumours

By Sports Desk November 22, 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not concerned by Mauricio Pochettino's new-found employment status - and conceded any manager would want his Manchester United job.

Pochettino has been a rumoured target for United for some time and is now available after being sacked by Tottenham on Tuesday.

With the Red Devils sitting seventh in the Premier League table, nine points adrift of a Champions League spot, Solskjaer could be forgiven for looking nervously over his shoulder, but the Norwegian cut a relaxed figure at his media conference on Friday.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's trip to Sheffield United, he said: "It's always sad when one of your colleagues - a good man - loses his job just before Christmas. It's never nice to see. I just wish him all the best.

"In football you can never be surprised or you can't be shocked at anything. For me, I've just got to focus on us.

"It doesn’t bother me at all. I've got the best job in the world. I'm sure that if you're in a job or if you're out of a job and you're a manager, you want this job."

Solskjaer says he has open communication with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and is confident he will be granted the time and resources to improve United's fortunes.

He added: "It doesn't really matter [that Pochettino is out of work]. I've got to focus on my job at Man United, do it as well as we can.

"I speak with Ed, I speak with the owners all the time about how we're going to move the club forward. That doesn’t change if some other clubs change their managers."

Pochettino was replaced by former United boss Jose Mourinho, and Solskjaer was pleased to have such an engaging, and controversial, figure back in English football.

"It's good to have Jose back, definitely - especially for you guys [the media]," he said.

"Maybe for me because you can talk and write about everything else."

Mourinho's arrival in north London prompted suggestions on social media that the Portuguese will immediately target United midfielder Nemanja Matic in January - a player he has worked with previously at Old Trafford and Chelsea.

Matic even liked one post and replied with laughing and clapping emojis, but Solskjaer, who has previously encouraged his players to be "boring" on Twitter and Instagram, appeared unconcerned.

He said: "No, that's not a part of being boring.

"You like Jose coming back. It's going to be a spectacle and a circus. Nemanja has got a sense of humour."

Related items

  • 'Incredible' De Bruyne the perfect cure for Pep's patched-up City 'Incredible' De Bruyne the perfect cure for Pep's patched-up City

    Pep Guardiola hailed Kevin De Bruyne's influence upon an injury-ravaged Manchester City squad after he starred in Monday's 3-1 win over Wolves.

    Guardiola headed to Molineux with seven senior players unavailable but his team turned in a sparkling display against opponents who beat them twice last season.

    De Bruyne was City's star man, winning and converting a 20th-minute penalty before having a hand in goals for Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus.

    "Since we came back after the games for the national teams, every training session he has incredible commitment," Guardiola, who saw Raul Jimenez briefly reduce the deficit in the 78th-minute, told a post-match news conference.

    "Right now he is an incredibly important player for us. He always was, but in the situation we are in right now, it is so important.

    "He took an incredible penalty, he took it perfectly. Then there is the amount of assists, how he runs. He played really well, like all the team.

    "He likes to play football, he doesn't feel the pressure and likes to compete at a high standard."

    Ilkay Gundogan's positive test for coronavirus compounded Guardiola's selection problems heading into City's opening Premier League game of the season, with Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Eric Garcia all injury absentees.

    Aymeric Laporte only returned to training last Friday following his own COVID-19 positive, although John Stones and new signing Nathan Ake were assured for the most part in the centre of defence.

    Guardiola confirmed a team predominantly made up of academy players will launch City's bid for a fourth consecutive EFL Cup against Bournemouth on Thursday, with Leicester City up next in the Premier League on Sunday.

    "Most of them are for after the [October] international break," he said when considering when asked when the injured players might return. "After that they’ll be ready.

    "Laporte is not injured but he had just one training session in two months. Eric Garcia had 16 stitches, that is why he is not here but maybe for the next game he will be fit.

    "The others I think after the international break – Joao, Bernardo, Oleks and Sergio will be longer.

    "This is the situation. Maybe in the next days it will change a little bit."

    The strain of those considerations appeared to be weighing upon Guardiola during a largely terse briefing, but he still found time to praise Foden, who made a goalscoring return to club action after being banished from the England squad earlier this month for breaching coronavirus protocols in Iceland.

    "He played really well," he added.

    "Apart from scoring the goal, in the first half he was not much involved. In the second half he played incredibly well.

    "Since day one he trained really well. In all the time he played with us, if we decide to play five minutes or 90 minutes it doesn’t matter.

    "He has a big impact and makes great contributions to the team. Today was not an exception."

  • De Bruyne up for title fight after City's winning start at Wolves De Bruyne up for title fight after City's winning start at Wolves

    Kevin De Bruyne was already looking towards another title tussle with Liverpool after Manchester City won at Wolves, adding that team glory ranks above his personal exploits despite a standout performance.

    City won the Premier League in 2017-18 and 2018-19, holding off the Reds down the home stretch in the latter season, but then relinquished their crown to Jurgen Klopp's team last term.

    Liverpool registered six points from the opening two matches of their title defence before Pep Guardiola's men even took to the field, with City making a late start due to their involvement in the Champions League in August.

    However, De Bruyne broke the deadlock at Wolves on Monday, had a hand in Phil Foden's second and then, after Raul Jimenez halved the deficit, supplied an assist for Gabriel Jesus in stoppage time.

    The reigning PFA Players' Player of the Year, who created six chances in all, did not shy away from the challenge before City.

    "It's obviously hard," De Bruyne told Sky Sports. "It's a little bit of a weird season, but we know we have to start well.

    "Wolves have been a bit of a bogey team for us in the last couple of seasons, so to come here and do this performance is encouraging, because we're missing a few players.

    "I think the team played really well. The only thing we really can do is play game by game. We know Thursday [Bournemouth in the EFL Cup] is another one and we'll try to do our best.

    "We know if the pace is the same as the last three years, it's going to be a hard job. We want to fight against [Liverpool], we need to fight against them.

    "I think we make each other better and that, for me, is what sport is all about."

    De Bruyne had 20 league assists last season, tying Thierry Henry's record, and was awarded his first of the new campaign after tackling Willy Boly before Jesus netted.

    Yet individual statistics are of little concern to the midfielder, who has also scored 14 times since the start of last season - his 35 goal involvements the most of any Premier League player in that time.

    "I don't know if my output is going to be more," he said. "I'm perfectly happy with the way the second goal goes. That's why we have so many attacking players - so I can slot them in and they can do the rest.

    "I would prefer to have five goals and five assists and go away with the title. You can contribute in a lot of ways.

    "I'm a midfielder, I know these days it's a lot about statistics, but I try to set myself [the goal] to play the best that I can for the team.

    "Obviously, if I have good numbers, it's going to help myself, it's going to help the team. But even if I play badly, I need to try to contribute in one way or another. That's what I'm trying to do."

  • Ex-Man Utd hope Ravel Morrison joins ADO Den Haag Ex-Man Utd hope Ravel Morrison joins ADO Den Haag

    Former Manchester United youngster Ravel Morrison has taken the latest step in his nomadic career by signing for Eredivisie side ADO Den Haag.

    Morrison, an ex-England Under-21 international, was praised by Alex Ferguson as one of the finest talents he had ever seen.

    But struggles for form and fitness, along with off-field issues, mean the 27-year-old is now set to play for his 11th professional club in a sixth country.

    After briefly suggesting he might realise his considerable promise at West Ham during the 2013-14 season, loan spells at Birmingham City, Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff City followed.

    Morrison then took his talents outside the UK, briefly turning out for Lazio, Mexican club Atlas and Swedish outfit Ostersunds.

    Sheffield United brought him back to the Premier League but, following another temporary stint at Middlesbrough, he was released in July.

    "I have a very positive impression of this club," Morrison said of ADO, who have lost their opening two games of the Eredivisie season. 

    "I hope to be able to have a lot of playing minutes here. I had to have quite a bit of patience last season and football is really my passion. 

    "I would also like to show that to the fans. I hope to be of further value with my creativity and dribbles."

    ADO travel to face Feyenoord this weekend.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.