Manchester United vs Arsenal – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Pre-match briefing

Manchester United-vs-Arsenal-pre-match

Manchester United, boosted by their thumping win against RB Leipzig in Champions League host Arsenal, who haven’t won at Old Trafford since September 2006. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who would be managing his 100th game for United will hope to continue his team’s fantastic run as they try to earn their first victory at home this season. The Norwegian spoke to the media ahead of the showdown.

On Arteta’s start at Arsenal

Any manager would need some time to put his principles and plays, he’s already won a trophy with them and you can see what he’s doing, you can see he’s got his own ideas and that he’s also worked under a top manager before, definitely. When you’re at the start of your career as a manager and you can start winning already it’s a great foundation to build from and they’ve really found a manager who wants the best for the club

On rivalry against Arsenal

When I played it was between us and Arsenal to win the league, that was a very fierce rivalry, there are all sorts of stories about what happened, that’s passion, the excitement, importance of those games – we knew if we beat Arsenal and we took six points off them that’d’ be us winning the league and vice versa. Some unbelievable games, some fond memories and some bad memories, there is still a rivalry and history but now we don’t think about them or anyone as our rivals, we just need to put points on the board and it’s so early anyway.

On title race

I think football has developed and so many clubs have developed strength in depth and the ability to challenge for the trophies, even though last two seasons you had two teams running away with it, I think this season a lot of us just underneath them would hope to put up a challenge, back then it was us or Arsenal, and then Chelsea came through. Now it’s more exciting for me and the fans that it’s not one of these two. Anything can happen this season with what’s happening around the world and we’re just taking one game at a time.”

On United’s progress

Well, we keep on working, want to develop, we want to improve, it’s not up to me to say how far we’ve come but I’ve been very pleased with the response after what we did early on in the season, we knew we had to hang in early on and try to get points on the board because we were far behind but now we feel fit and strong and competitive in every game.”

On Pogba’s postion

Paul can do everything on a football pitch more or less, he can play long passes, get in the box, arrive in the box, play combinations outside the box, but he played really well, he did impact the game, we love to see him driving forward and affecting the game, what has been the case with Paul after being injured and ill for so long, it is about getting fitness, getting the sharpness back, and the fitter he is the more he can do.

On Fred’s form

He’s got incredible attributes, and we are seeing the better side of Fred, definitely, we’ve waited for it, he played a fantastic season last season and did what we wanted from him. He’s a humble boy, works really hard and, as he said after the game, he missed a couple of passes but that’s in his genes to look to improve and to look at his own performance, his high energy… he’s little but his point of gravity, his balance is fantastic, he’s so sharp, wins the balls and can play a good pass, delighted with his development.

On managing his 100th game for United

Arsenal is always gonna be difficult, because they are a very good team with a good manager who has got some great ideas on how football should be played and I’m looking forward to it. Surprised it’s 100 games, it’s gone really quickly even though a lot has happened, so let’s hope I can celebrate No.100 with a good performance and a good result. I’ve enjoyed it so far.

On United’s reaction to Spurs loss

I think any result as brutal as a 6-1 would have to get a response and, of course, it has been dealt with internally, we’ve tweaked a couple of things, got players fit and I think the manner of the defeat wasn’t something we should ever have to be confronted with again. Then again things happen in football these days and the response has been fantastic, and that’s what I’m concerned about, because we wanted to finish that off as soon as we could and move forward.”

On injuries and potential returns

Alex won’t be ready, no, so apart from that I would think everyone else looks like they could be involved. Sergio has just come back into training this week, so he’s started his pre-season work and is working to get to his peak fitness with the goalkeepers. Phil has been injured and had an operation and working really hard to be back, hopefully he’ll get fit in December, when you’re injured you can’t get into the squad, he’s working really diligently and he’ll be coming back soon.”

On squad depth

At the moment, we are looking like a Man United squad, I’ve got opportunities, competition for places, and any successful team in the modern era of football have had the option to rest players, to rotate and that is probably the only way you can last in this most intense league in the world and also with the Champions League involved, you want to go for the trophies.”

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