MANCHESTER — Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Robin van Persie he has “no right to criticise my management style” and launched a blistering attack on the former Manchester United striker.
Van Persie, working as a BT Sport pundit, questioned why Solskjaer was seen smiling in an interview following the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday.
But at a news conference on Friday, Solskjaer hit back by showing “the edge” the Dutchman claims he lacks.
“I don’t know Robin and Robin doesn’t know me,” Solskjaer said. “He probably doesn’t have a right to criticise my management style and I won’t change.
“That’s definite. Yeah Robin, he took my No.20 [shirt] and that’s probably all he’s going to take from me as well. Because I’m not in medieval times.”
Van Persie, who scored 58 goals in 105 games in three seasons at Old Trafford, was critical of Solskjaer’s demeanour in the aftermath of the defeat at the Emirates on New Year’s Day, prompting a brutal riposte from the United boss.
“When I listen to Ole, he sounds like a really nice guy,” Van Persie said.
“I would like to see him a bit more mean at times, just be angry. I see him smiling now after a game like that. This is not the moment to smile.”
Van Persie was not the only one in Solskjaer’s firing line on Friday morning with agent Mino Raiola also coming in for criticism from the Norwegian over comments made about Paul Pogba.
Raiola said United were ruining Pogba — who is sidelined for a month with an ankle injury — because they are “out of touch with reality and without a sporting project” but Solskjaer was quick to tell the Frenchman’s agent to keep quiet.
Asked whether agents should speak about clubs, Solskjaer replied: “No. I can speak to Paul about it.
“I don’t think I should be talking to agents or about agents that talk about us, but Paul is our player and agents are hired by players, not the opposite way around. It’s not ‘agents’ players’ it’s ‘our players.’
“What me and Paul are talking about I don’t have to talk to you about. That will be between us. He is very committed to coming back, playing well for us, and it’s hard when you’re injured to go and talk about all sorts.
“I think his talking needs to be when he comes back on the pitch. That’s the most important thing that we get him fit. I think that’s enough about Paul.”