Louis van Gaal Fires Another 'Parking the Bus' Jab at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 16:  Ole Gunnar Solskjaer head coach of Manchester United looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between FC Barcelona and Manchester United at Camp Nou on April 16, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Aliaga/MB Media/Getty Images)
David Aliaga/MB Media/Getty Images

Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has once again accused current Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of "parking the bus," saying the Norwegian plays more defensive football than people think.

Per the Mirror's Simon Mullock, the Dutchman told Ziggo that Solskjaer's appointment had a clear impact on the club, but his defensive tactics aren't all that different from his predecessor, Jose Mourinho:

"I can see how Ole had some impact in the beginning, because United were ninth in the table when he took over and the team was nothing. United had been playing anti-football, as I call it, but don’t think that Ole isn’t afraid to park the bus either — he is more defensive than you think.

"I have been watching the team, because I always look at United still, and Ole parked the bus against Arsenal. He did it against Tottenham in the league. And at stages against Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in the Champions League.

"He plays against all the big teams like that. The emphasis is more on defending than on attacking or wanting to play dominant football. I actually call it parking the bus. Ole does it not just outside the 18-yard box. He parks the bus right in front of [goalkeeper] David De Gea."

He added Solskjaer is overly reliant on the raw speed of Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku on the counter-attack, and said the club will have to change their tactics to find success in Europe.

MUNCHEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 2: Louis van Gaal during the    match between Bayern Munchen U19 v Ajax U19 at the FC Bayern Campus on October 2, 2018 in Munchen Germany (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

The criticism comes less than a month after Van Gaal made similar comments to Simon Stone of BBC Sport. In that interview he said Solskjaer's style of play is similar to that of Mourinho, and the main difference between the two is the fact the former was winning matches.

The Red Devils' results have taken a turn for the worse since the start of March, however. They've won just four of their last nine matches across all competitions, getting knocked out of the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup as well as falling behind in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Some fans aren't as confident as they were in the weeks following Solskjaer's appointment, when the Red Devils put together a lengthy unbeaten streak and knocked Paris Saint-Germain out of the Champions League:

Others believe it's far too early to criticise Solskjaer, who has yet to make the squad his own:

The Red Devils are expected to be active in the transfer market this summer, backing Solskjaer with several signings and trimming the squad of some unwanted players. The former top striker has tried to rely on some of the younger talents, and that appears to be the direction the club is trending for the summer as well.

He'll likely be judged on how he develops youth and makes the squad his own, rather than what he does with a team that was assembled before he arrived.

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