Manchester United cannot keep changing their manager and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be given time to prove his worth, according to Robin van Persie.

Van Persie and Solskjaer had a public feud last month when the Dutchman urged the United boss to show more anger after a defeat to Arsenal.

Solskjaer did not take kindly to the suggestion, saying while Van Persie took his famous number 20 shirt at Old Trafford, he had no right to criticise his managerial style, vowing not to change.

But despite that spat and the club sitting seventh in the Premier League, the ex-United forward feels constant managerial changes are not beneficial.

If Solskjaer is United's man, Van Persie says they simply have to give him time.

"Especially after Alex Ferguson left, everyone realised that it would be tough to stick to that level that Ferguson achieved for all of those years," Van Persie, speaking courtesy of Enterprise rent-a-car, told Omnisport.

"I think everyone could see that. Now [David] Moyes has been there, [Louis] van Gaal, [Jose] Mourinho and Solskjaer. 

"Ferguson took time to adjust and get to a certain level. I don't think that it's ideal for the club to keep changing the manager every one or two years. 

"If you go for Solskjaer, go for him and give him time, that is what I think because the club needs to find some stability."

United had an encouraging 2-0 win at Chelsea on Monday, putting them within three points of the top four in the Premier League.

Van Persie was impressed by the display but feels a lack of consistency is holding United back against elite competition in the form of Liverpool and Manchester City.

"Now they win against Chelsea and to be fair they had a good game," added Van Persie.

"But you never know what's going to happen in the next few games. It's not consistent enough to be able to really play for the trophies. 

"It is difficult because you have to compete against Liverpool, who are unbelievable and Manchester City, who are brilliant. 

"Manchester City are not on the same level this year, but based on the last couple of years, they and Liverpool have been unbelievable. 

"That is the level United have to go to, that is consistency, and that is the hardest thing in football because the league is tough. 

"Even if you play against teams like Burnley away, teams like that are really difficult to get points against. You have to get everything right and that is a big challenge to get that consistency."

With United bidding to get back into the Champions League through a top-four finish, the Europa League gives them another avenue to the continent's elite club competition.

Solskjaer's men play Club Brugge in Belgium on Thursday in the first leg of their last-32 tie, with Van Persie seeing Ajax as the biggest rivals to United and Arsenal, another of his former teams.

"Arsenal and Manchester surely are the favourites to win," he said. 

"Ajax were knocked out of the Champions League in a harsh manner. That is also part of the game, unfortunately. They also have a chance at winning the Europa League and have a very good squad too.

"In the Europa League, Premier League clubs tend to field a mix of players up until the knockout phase. From this point on, they tend to use their best 11. Up until now it's been a mix between first-team players and substitutes. 

"I think they are in it to win it. That is the way they should prepare because it is a great title that is up for grabs."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sprung to his own defence on Friday when Robin van Persie criticised the Manchester United manager's touchline demeanour.

The Dutchman, who took Solskjaer's number 20 shirt at Old Trafford, suggested the United boss smiled too often and sometimes needed to "just be angry".

Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie at Wolves – who ended United's participation in last season's competition – represented the latest opportunity for Solskjaer to show his emotional range. So, how did the Norwegian fare at Molineux?

Here is a breakdown of how Solskjaer reacted as the 'action' unfolded...


13' – GRIMACING: Romero to the rescue

The first clear-cut chance of the game fell to Matt Doherty, whose effort on the volley forced a superb reaction save from Sergio Romero. It really ought to have been 1-0 to Wolves, leaving Solskjaer shuffling a little uncomfortably in his seat.

30' – QUIZZICAL: VAR says no penalty

Solskjaer was somewhat bemused when United saw appeals for a penalty waved away on the half-hour mark. Leander Dendoncker got himself into all sorts of trouble and appeared to bring down Brandon Williams, but referee Paul Tierney was unmoved, and VAR backed him up.

45' – FROWNING: Goalless at the break 

Having failed to hit a shot on target in an underwhelming first half, Solskjaer looked less than impressed when the half-time whistle blew. This, conversely, might have pleased Van Persie.

49' – WORRIED: Romero laid low

Romero went down clutching his left leg early in the second half and Solskjaer wore a look of concern which eventually gave way to calm as the Argentine was able to continue, denying Neto soon after being treated.

57' – RUEFUL: Mata goes close

Juan Mata's free-kick completely wrong-footed John Ruddy but just curled past the Wolves goalkeeper's right-hand upright, with Solskjaer ​– hands plunged into his pockets – biting his bottom lip as he turned away in disappointment. 

67' – CONTEMPLATIVE: Changes on the way

As United's ninth shot of the match flew off target to leave Ruddy still untroubled, Solskjaer readied some reinforcements from the bench in the shape of Marcus Rashford and Fred, with still no sign of the 46-year-old's trademark grin.

69' – DISAPPOINTED: Rashford hits the bar

In his playing days, Solskjaer was the epitome of an impact sub and Rashford very nearly paid a fitting tribute to his boss when he sized up an excellent opening within moments of coming on. However, the England forward delayed his strike too long and it was deflected onto the top of the crossbar. 

76' – RELIEF: D'oh-erty!

Doherty nodded in from six yards, but the hosts' celebrations were cut short as the Irishman had headed the ball into his arm, affording Solskjaer some welcome relief.

90' – UNDERWHELMED: Second best but in the hat

Having once again failed to mastermind a win against Wolves – this time not even finding the target – the only smile from Solskjaer at full-time was to greet opposite number Nuno Espirito Santo, and you cannot criticise a man for observing social niceties.  

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at criticism from Robin van Persie, insisting the Dutchman "doesn't have a right" to question his methods.

Working for BT Sport for United's 2-0 loss to Arsenal on New Year's Day, Van Persie questioned Solskjaer's demeanour in the aftermath of such a disappointing result at Emirates Stadium.

"I would like to see him a bit more mean at times, just be angry," the former United forward - who was signed from Arsenal - said. "I see him smiling now after a game like that. This is not the moment to smile."

Yet Solskjaer made clear he was not impressed by the comments on the eve of his team's FA Cup tie away at Wolves.

"I don't know Robin and Robin doesn't know me," a defiant Solskjaer told the media. "He probably doesn't have a right to criticise my management style and I won't change. That's definite.

"Yeah Robin, he took my No.20 [shirt at United] and that's probably all he's going to take from me as well."

United sit in fifth place in the Premier League table, but missed the chance to close the gap on Chelsea as they continue to struggle for consistency.

Their cause will not be aided at the start of 2020 by the absence of midfielder Paul Pogba, who is expected to be out for three to four weeks with a new ankle injury. Solskjaer revealed the issue was bone fragments, explaining: "It's not a big, massive injury."

The Norwegian also responded to comments made by the player's agent, Mino Raiola, over the Frenchman's long-term future at Old Trafford.

Asked if agents should be offering their opinions on the state of clubs, Solskjaer replied: "No."

He added: "I don't think I should be talking to agents or about agents that talk about us, but Paul Pogba is our player and agents are hired by players, not the opposite way around. What me and Paul Pogba are talking about, I don't have to talk to you about. That will be between us."

With Pogba joining Scott McTominay on the sidelines, Nemanja Matic is not only set to stay during the January transfer window but could yet extend his time at the club beyond the 2019-20 season.

"Nemanja will stay. He's been working hard to get back in and now he's here and he’s playing well," said Solskjaer, who added "there's always a chance" of the Serbia international getting a new contract.

Robin van Persie wants to see Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer become "a bit more mean" after the loss to Arsenal.

United were beaten 2-0 at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday and are five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League table.

Van Persie, who starred for both United and Arsenal, was unhappy with Solskjaer's reaction to the defeat.

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

"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."

United have endured an inconsistent campaign so far, winning eight of 21 league games while drawing seven and losing six.

Van Persie said United's players needed to know there would be punishment for not performing.

"They need a game plan and a bit of fear for the coach," he said.

"You know if you don't make those runs or make that pass, you will be punished and you won't play the next game."

Patrice Evra accused Arsenal of being weak-willed "babies" following their 1-0 loss to Sheffield United on Monday.

Lys Mousset's first-half goal punished Nicolas Pepe's earlier close-range miss and condemned the Gunners to a second defeat in nine Premier League games.

Unai Emery claimed his side did not deserve to lose but former Manchester United defender Evra disagreed and attacked the team's character.

In an appearance on Sky Sports, the retired left-back claimed the club's shortcomings were ingrained and became clear to Robin van Persie following his move from Arsenal to Old Trafford in 2012.

"I used to call them 'my babies' 10 years ago and they are still, when I look at them, my babies. That's the truth," Evra said.

"I'm not being disrespectful when I say that. It's just the feeling I get from this team. They look pretty, they look good, but they don't look like a winning team. They just play good football.

"I was so happy to play against Arsenal because I knew I was going to win.

"Even when Robin van Persie came, the first day I shook his hand and said 'welcome to a man's club'.

"At the beginning he was upset but after one month he said 'you're completely right, Patrice'. That's my feeling. [Matteo] Guendouzi is a player who was playing in the French second league - and he was even not playing regularly - and he's the best player in this team.

"I know some legends are fuming when they see [Granit] Xhaka is captain of Arsenal.

"I respect [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, [Alexandre] Lacazette, but you see if those guys don't score, they're in trouble. Nothing has changed."

Arsenal lie fifth in the Premier League, two points adrift of the Champions League places.

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