Michael Owen slams Man Utd's derby tactics and sends clear message to Solskjaer

Michael Owen has hit out at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tactics during Manchester United’s 2-0 Premier League defeat to Manchester City. 

An Eric Bailly own goal and a Bernardo Silva toe-poked effort just before half time gave City a dominant victory and in turn opened the gap between the two sides to six points in the Premier League table. 

The defeat leaves United with just one win in their last six Premier League matches, a run which has included defeats to Liverpool, Aston Villa and Leicester.

United barely tested the City backline, with a soft header from Harry Maguire and a tame Cristiano Ronaldo volley representing the best chances the Red Devils had all game. 

Solskjaer opted to start the match with three centre-backs, with Maguire, Bailly and Victor Lindelof all involved.

But former United striker Owen believes Solskjaer is being too reactive to recent poor results and urged him to create more of an identity at Old Trafford. 

‘Manchester United have collected a fantastic array of players but they don’t look like a team whereas Pep Guardiola whatever team he manages they’ve got a distinct style of play.’ he said.

‘That’s what you look for in a manager and a coach is to put your impression on it.

‘It’s a surprise that you turn up and with Manchester United you don’t know what formation they’re going to play. They are collecting a load of players all these great players from around the world and they are chopping and changing all the time.

‘You’ve got to be able to see further than the end of your nose and think this is the way we’re going to play no matter what. We are going to buy players for these positions and now let’s play this way.

‘If things go wrong and you concede five against Liverpool you don’t think the defence is rubbish let’s go and put one more player in there. It’s ridiculous.

‘I go back to what Jurgen Klopp did at Liverpool and he’s the best exponent at it he came in and said this is how we’ll play, our full-backs will bomb forward, we are going to have a sitting midfield and play three up front. It weeds out the weak. The poor players get weeded out because they get exposed in a formation.

‘All Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does, as soon as there is a weak player he covers for him and puts even more defenders in and in the meantime you’re buying hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of players. Don’t do that, weed out the weak, if you’re not good enough get someone else.

‘All they are doing at the moment is covering for weaknesses and looking at the next week and thinking good team lets play loads of defenders. It’s rubbish, that’s not how you go about things. You need a long-term plan.

‘Weed out the rubbish if that’s the case but you have to go through a bit of pain on the way. If their target is to win the league then that’s how they’ve got to do it.’

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