Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at criticism of his management style from former Red Devils striker Robin Van Persie, saying: “I’m not in medieval times.”
The Dutchman felt Solskjaer appeared too upbeat in the aftermath of the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal on New Year’s Day which leaves United five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League.
Van Persie said Solskjaer “seems like a really nice guy” but that the Norwegian needed to be more “mean at times” and “more angry” and added: “You need to have fear as well for your coach.”
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Solskjaer, who is also having to handle fresh speculation surrounding the future of star midfielder Paul Pogba, said Van Persie was not in a position to judge his methods.
“I don’t know Robin and Robin doesn’t know me,” he said ahead of his side’s FA Cup third-round tie away to Wolves.
“He probably doesn’t have a right to criticise my management style and I won’t change. That’s definite. Robin took my number 20 (shirt) and that’s probably all he’s going to take from me as well. Because I’m not in medieval times.”
The “medieval times” remark was perceived to be Solskjaer defending his man-management methods, which appear far removed from the more autocratic approach of his old United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.