Sport Gary Neville: Solskjaer's Man United 'far better' than Mourinho days
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Gary Neville claims Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a better chance of winning the title with Manchester United than Jose Mourinho ever did in his two-and-a-half season at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer's United drew 0-0 at Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, a result which solidifed the Red Devils' place in the top-four but distanced the gap between Premier League leaders Manchester City to 12 points.
Mourinho's greatest season at Old Trafford saw him finish second to Pep Guardiola's City in the 2017-18 season - 19 points behind the champions that year - before being sacked six months later with the club languishing in mid-table.
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Neville claims that Mourinho formed a 'strange bunch of lads' during his time at United and claims the togetherness shown by Solskjaer's squad means they are better-equipped for the title.
The former United defender told Sky Sports: 'Over the last 12 months, Manchester United have put an incredible run of results together. The points tally has been big, year to year.
'To actually go 20 games away from home needs applauding because it's hard to do that. What do you use to demonstrate teams that have got good character and personality?
Martial and Matic start in 5 changes by Solskjaer: Predicted Man Utd XI vs Newcastle - opinion
Manchester United will be looking to make it two wins on the trot when they take on Newcastle United at Old Trafford. The title-chasing Red Devils return to Premier League action later tonight after Thursday’s 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad in the Europa League. That result was United’s first win since they thrashed nine-man Southampton 9-0 and they now face a Magpies side who are struggling for form as they turn their attention to getting their title challenge back on track. Here’s how Football FanCast predict Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will set his side up when they face-off against Newcastle.
'They're good away from home, they're good on set pieces, they look like they want to play with each other.
'That's why I think this Manchester United team is better suited than the one from two or three years ago under Jose Mourinho that finished second. I actually feel there's a better spirit.
'I think they've got a far better chance of winning the league in the next two or three years than they were under Jose a couple of years ago.
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'I thought it was a strange bunch of lads, they just didn't seem to like each other. They didn't really appeal to me as a fan.'
Mourinho arrived at Old Trafford in the summer of 2016 and brought in the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan Paul Pogba straight away, with Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic, Alexis Sanchez and Victor Lindelof arriving in the following season.
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The majority of Mourinho's signings were moved on by Solskjaer when he replaced the iconic Portuguese coach at Old Trafford, with the club adopting a different transfer strategy under the Norwegian.
Solskjaer has overseen the signing of younger talents including Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Amad Diallo - while several of the club's youth team stars such as Mason Greenwood, Shola Shoretire and Axel Tuanzebe are enjoying more first-team minutes.
Neville also claims that United are closer to the Premier League title than Chelsea, who recently sacked club legend Frank Lampard to bring in former Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel.
The German has enjoyed an unbeaten start to life at Stamford Bridge despite facing the likes of United, Atletico Madrid and Mourinho's Tottenham in his opening matches.
When asked about United's chances of the title, Neville said: 'I think they're going in the right direction. Whether they get there or not, that's another matter; we'll know in the future. But they're certainly going in the right direction.'
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says David de Gea's absence is 'a private matter'
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said David De Gea was left out due to 'personal reasons' and that it will 'take the time it takes' for him to return. But, he did admit he was impressed with Henderson.Prior to the game, Solskjaer said that De Gea was left out of the squad due to 'personal reasons,' and that Dean Henderson would be replacing him between the sticks at Selhurst Park.
'I think United are nearer (than Chelsea). I think Chelsea got some work to do on the defence.
'I think that there's some maturity in their players in attack - (Kai) Havertz, (Timo) Werner, (Christian) Pulisic, (Hakim) Ziyech - I think there are outstanding talents there, but they've all got to merge.
'But it won't take much from Chelsea's point of view to get there, it's whoever recruits better in the summer, which players develop more, and which managers can get the best out of the players.
'But I'd say that for United this season to finish second would be a huge advance on last season.
'For Chelsea to get into the top four under Tuchel I think would be very good. And then they've both got to try and win another trophy if they can.'
Solskjaer 'to be rewarded with new £9m-a-year deal' at Man United .
Manchester United have made giant strides under Solskjaer who is set to enter the final 12-months of his three-year contract later this month. It's reported he is set to be given a new deal.The Norwegian boss who replaced Jose Mourinho in December 2018, is set to enter the final 12 months of his three-year contract later this month.