Solskjaer assesses threat Arsenal pose to Man Utd; rates Arteta work so far

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping to celebrate his 100th match in charge of Manchester United with a win, but admits Arsenal will be a “difficult” opponent.

Solskjaer assesses threat Arsenal pose to Man Utd; rates Arteta work so far

Solskjaer assesses threat Arsenal pose to Man Utd; rates Arteta work so far

After inspiring United to a 5-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League, Solskjaer’s focus will return to the Premier League for their game against Arsenal on Sunday.

The game will see two of English football’s traditional biggest forces go head-to-head. Both are looking to return to their glory days from years gone by, and are making progress under managers who used to play for their respective clubs.

It will be a landmark occasion for Solskjaer, who will take charge of United for the 100th time since being appointed, initially as interim manager, in December 2018.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, he admitted his surprise at how quickly his tenure has gone. The Norwegian is hoping to have more reason to celebrate after the game, though.

He said: “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.”



Solskjaer’s adversary on Sunday will be Mikel Arteta, who is following in his footsteps by returning to a club he used to play for, now as a manager.

Arteta has made a promising start to his first job as a manager, winning the FA Cup and Community Shield this summer. Solskjaer is impressed by the impact his opposite number is having so far.

“Any manager would need some time to put his principles and plays,” he said of Arteta. “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.”

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Solskjaer recalls Arsenal memories

Back in Solskjaer’s own playing days, he was involved in some memorable battles with Arsenal.

Between them, United and the Gunners shared all but one of the first 12 titles of the Premier League era. While neither are favourites to be champions these days, Solskjaer is hoping that Sunday’s game will also have its own significance.

However, he admits that it could be too early to have a major impact on the final table, and suggested that the rivalry between the two clubs has faded.

He said: “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.”

Solskjaer will have a fairly strong squad at his disposal for the game, confirming that Alex Telles – who has tested positive for coronavirus – may be the only major absentee.

“Alex won’t be ready, no, so apart from that I would think everyone else looks like they could be involved.”

READ MORE: Woodward told to appoint Prem ‘genius’ who is proven Solskjaer upgrade for Man Utd


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