Van Persie has no right to criticise me: Solskjaer

LONDON • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at Robin van Persie by saying that while the Dutchman may have taken his shirt at Manchester United, he will not take anything away from his management style.

Van Persie had criticised Solskjaer for smiling after Wednesday's 2-0 Premier League defeat at Arsenal, saying: "I would like to see him more mean at times, just be angry. I see him smiling after a game like that. This is not the moment to smile."

The two strikers wore the No. 20 shirt during their respective playing careers at Old Trafford and the Norwegian manager was visibly upset when asked about van Persie's comments.

"I don't know Robin and Robin doesn't know me," Solskjaer said ahead of yesterday's FA Cup third-round clash at Wolverhampton Wanderers, the result of which was not available at press time.

"He probably doesn't have a right to criticise my management style and I won't change. That's definite. He took my No. 20 shirt and that's probably all he's going to take from me, because I'm not in mediaeval times (so I don't need to have an angry modus operandi)."

He also had no patience for Mino Raiola after Paul Pogba's agent said United could even ruin the careers of Diego Maradona and Pele if they joined now, and that the unsettled midfielder needs to play for a side like his previous one, Juventus.

He said: "I can speak to Paul Pogba about it. I don't think I should be talking to agents or about agents that talk about us. But Paul is our player and agents are hired by players, not the opposite way around.

"It's not 'agents' players', it's 'our players'. What me and Paul are talking about I don't have to talk to you about. That will be between us."

Pogba's future at United is continually doubted by fans, yet Solskjaer does not think the 26-year-old should make a public statement.

"Paul is very committed to coming back, playing well for us, and it's hard when you're injured, to go and talk about all sorts," he said of the Frenchman, who has been ruled out for four weeks with another ankle injury. "His talking needs to be when he comes back on the pitch. The most important thing is that we get him fit."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 05, 2020, with the headline 'Van Persie has no right to criticise me: Solskjaer'. Print Edition | Subscribe