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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Manchester United 'Can't Play Tippy-Tappy Football'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2019

Manchester United's Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 26, 2019. - Manchester United won the game 4-1. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his team are not ready to play "tippy-tappy" football following their win over Newcastle United in the Premier League on Thursday.

Anthony Martial was on the scoresheet twice, while Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford also netted for the Red Devils in a 4-1 win. United were forced to come from behind after Matty Longstaff's opening goal and moved up to seventh position in the table with the win.

After the game, Solskjaer was asked about the style his team played on the day and said they aren't ready to play a possession-based brand of football, per James Robson of the Evening Standard:

"I think it has been told [to the players] in quite certain terms what kind of team we are. They know what we expect. They know when we are at our best.

"We do have to make it hard to play against us. We can’t play tippy-tappy football. We can’t, at this moment in time, play like City. It is only City that can do that. We have to show more energy, drive, urgency and selflessness in every single game. That is the way we have to play at the moment."

Here are the highlights from the meeting at Old Trafford:

Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News praised the mentality of the United players, who sought to put the result beyond doubt:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

For the purposes of balance, Rashford and Martial knocked that out of James when he forgot his goal against Palace was just an equaliser.

United's best performances this season have come in games against more expansive opponents. When there is space to break, the speed of players like Martial, Rashford and Daniel James can be devastating.

When Newcastle took the lead at Old Trafford on Boxing Day and sat deep thereafter, all the makings of a difficult evening were there for United. But they found a way to unpick the lock and get on the scoresheet.

Football writer Sam Pilger commented on the sky-high potential there is in the United attacking setup:

Sam Pilger @sampilger

Greenwood, Martial, Pogba, Rashford and James: #MUFC have some incredible attacking talent for many years to come. Just need to be sure they have the right person to harness that.

Bleacher Report's Rob Blanchette commented on the entertaining football the Red Devils played, although he noted there are still some issues that require resolving:

Rob Blanchette @_Rob_B

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde #MUFC. Flying forward, one of the best teams anywhere. Doing the basics, like marking & passing & positioning & control... It's like watching a youth side. Lucky to be in control. For this Utd team, the best form of defence is very much attack. #MUNNEW

If United are going to become a team that challenges for top-four finishes and major prizes in the coming years, then they will need to be versatile when it comes to their style.

Solskjaer would have been encouraged by what he saw on Boxing Day, with his team showing the composure and technical quality needed to get back into the game. With Burnley to come in the Premier League on Saturday at Turf Moor, the manager will want to see more of the same from his side.

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