Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shrugged off criticism of his managerial abilities from Jamie Carragher and the Manchester United boss says he will not be changing his style.
United’s 29-game unbeaten run away from home in the Premier League was brought to a crashing halt at Leicester, with the Foxes coming from behind to win 4-2 at the King Power Stadium.
Solskjaer’s side are winless in their last three league games, with pressure further growing on the manager after an expensive summer of incomings.
Speaking on Monday Night Football, former Liverpool defender Carragher said Solskjaer had done well at United but “he knows himself, as does every Manchester United fan, that he is not at the same level as the other managers at the top of the Premier League”.
However, Solskjaer hinted Sky Sports pundit Carragher’s comments were made with United’s showdown with Liverpool on Sunday at Old Trafford in mind.
“No it doesn’t affect me,” he said ahead of United’s Champions League match against Atalanta on Wednesday.
“Of course you see comments once in a while, I didn’t know what he was saying now.
“Of course we have got Liverpool on Sunday as well, so Jamie is always looking at these little things.
“I have got my values, I have got my way of managing.
“I believe in myself and as long as the club believes in me, I am pretty sure Jamie Carragher’s opinion is not going to change that.”
Solskjaer also took the media to task, after his comment Marcus Rashford “maybe needs to prioritise his football” was reported last week.
Rashford, who is fit again after injury, has been praised for his campaigning to end food poverty for children.
He joined Solskjaer at Tuesday’s press briefing and the manager said: “Let’s get the elephant out of the room straight away.
“You know the headlines, that came after the chat I had before the Leicester game.
“Of course, we are so unbelievably proud of what Marcus has done on and off the pitch.
“And now, you know what I said, and you made a headline out of one little comment I never intended to be the focus of what I was saying.
“I was saying that it must be nice for Marcus to focus on going into training and not feeling his ankle, his shoulder or his back, he can just go and enjoy his football.
“And I think you all know that.”
Gary Neville does not entertain the idea of Solskjaer being the reason why United are seemingly underachieving this season – but Jamie Carragher disagrees.
He said on Monday Night Football: “What is his style? What does he do?
“I keep hearing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer talking about Manchester United of the past, counter-attacking, scoring great goals – it’s like a history lesson at Manchester United. He was part of that history – it was amazing. What does Solskjaer do? What’s his idea? I don’t see it in terms of a plan.
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done a really good job as Manchester United manager. This could have gone horribly wrong for United. He came into the job with experience from Scandinavia and a year at Cardiff.
“I can’t judge Solskjaer against Jose Mourinho or Louis van Gaal, who did average jobs themselves. Solskjaer will not win a Premier League or a Champions League as Manchester United manager.
“He is not at the level as Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel or Pep Guardiola, who have got years of experience and have won major trophies.
“Ole hasn’t got that. So where he’s got them means he’s done a really good job. But this team is a good team.
“He knows himself as does every Manchester United fan, that he isn’t at the same level as the other manager at the top of the Premier League.”
Reflecting on United’s 4-2 weekend defeat at Leicester, Neville said: “They are baggy and they are a pretty awful side to watch when they are baggy.
“There were spaces everywhere.
“They don’t press very well, they have no intensity, they walk around the pitch – particularly their front players – and they must think they are better than they are because when I watch Liverpool and Manchester City, they sprint.
“Patterns started to emerge throughout the second half where the front and back of the team became disconnected. You ended up with two teams: the front five – the egos, the great players, the world-class ones – and the back five.
“Manchester United ended up with a disconnected, non-compact unit which Leicester found it really comfortable to play against.
“This Manchester United team are really poor in reacting to goals. They are a little bit like babies after conceding a goal – if they score, they puff their chests out, the egos come out, and they start to push forward for another goal.”
Manchester United face a formidable set of fixtures in October and November as they look to keep pace in the Premier League and ensure Champions League qualification, with Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and the Manchester derby looming domestically.
October 20: Atalanta (h) – Champions League, kick-off 8pm
October 24: Liverpool (h) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
October 30: Tottenham (a) – Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports
November 2: Atalanta (a) – Champions League, kick-off 8pm
November 6: Man City (h) – Premier League, kick-off 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports
November 20: Watford (a) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
November 23: Villarreal (a) – Champions League, kick-off 5.45pm
November 28: Chelsea (a) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
November 30: Arsenal (h) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm