Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives lowdown on Man City in his new role as UEFA Technical Observer, as the Man United legend pinpoints three ways the treble winners have become unstoppable

Estimated read time 4 min read

[ad_1]

  • Solskjaer has been without a coaching job since his sacking at United in 2021
  • The 50-year-old has a role with UEFA analysing Champions League fixtures
  • Jack Grealish has had no luck… he’ll now be sweating on his Euros place – It’s All Kicking Off podcast 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given his expert insight into the ways in which Manchester City overcame Copenhagen in his new role as UEFA Technical Observer. 

The former Manchester United boss has been away from coaching since his sacking by the Old Trafford club in November 2021, though he has now returned to football in some capacity. 

The 50-year-old revealed in September that he had taken up a role with Europe’s top governing body that sees him attend Champions League fixtures and provide reports throughout this season.

‘I can watch teams from a different perspective than being a manager,’ the six-time Premier League winner told The Athletic last year. ‘Analyse them, solve problems, see how both teams will try to hurt each other.’

Of all the out-of-work managers in the world, there might not be any better placed to breakdown the approach of Guardiola’s side, given that Solskjaer’s record against the Spaniard stands at a healthy four wins, four defeats and one draw.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left) took the role as a technical observer for UEFA, travelling to Champions League fixtures and providing reports

Manchester City claimed their 11th win in a row in all competitions against Copenhagen

Manchester City claimed their 11th win in a row in all competitions against Copenhagen 

Pep Guardiola's side are in scintillating form as they bid to retain each of the three trophies they won last season

Pep Guardiola’s side are in scintillating form as they bid to retain each of the three trophies they won last season

The Norwegian highlighted three key facets of City’s play in their 3-1 Champions League win against Copenhagen, which could make them near impossible for any team to stop. 

First was their answer to the Danish side’s zonal pressing system that seeks to reduce the time afforded to City players on the ball while keeping their defensive rigidity. 

‘Guardiola’s men used the full width of the pitch and played around Copenhagen’s shape when they reverted to a 4-3-3.’ He wrote in his analysis on UEFA’s website. 

‘And they produced the killer balls, usually to Kevin De Bruyne or Bernardo Silva, who, with perfect timing, were able to run into spaces between the full-back and the centre-half.’

It was the Belgian who opened the scoring for the defending champions after latching onto an incisive pass from Foden on the right flank. 

Copenhagen kept a disciplined shape which forced City to play the ball from side to side to try and open up spaces in the middle

Copenhagen kept a disciplined shape which forced City to play the ball from side to side to try and open up spaces in the middle

Kevin de Bruyne's opener came after some clever interplay between him and Phil Foden

Kevin de Bruyne’s opener came after some clever interplay between him and Phil Foden 

Jacob Neestrup’s team changed their shape in the second period to enable their wing-backs to be more aggressive. And it worked for large stretches, though City’s quality still ultimately told.

That fact was particularly evident in Solskjaer’s second observation which concerned City players’ ability to evade pressure. 

This is a common feature of Guardiola’s side, as the former Barcelona manager’s system and player selection enables his team to play out of danger after initially inviting it to lure opponents out of their defensive shape. 

‘City’s players are so good at receiving the ball on the back foot,’ Solskjaer continued. ‘Even moving backwards in tight spaces with players around them, so aware are they of the positions of others.’

Solskjaer highlighted the trust City players have to pass and receive the ball under immense pressure

Solskjaer highlighted the trust City players have to pass and receive the ball under immense pressure

City love to push high up the pitch and routinely have every outfield player camped in the opposition half

City love to push high up the pitch and routinely have every outfield player camped in the opposition half

The Belgian returned the favour for City's third goal of the night and Foden's 15th goal of the season

The Belgian returned the favour for City’s third goal of the night and Foden’s 15th goal of the season

Solskjaer was also keen to highlight the Manchester side’s constant positional rotation that made it extremely difficult for Copenhagen’s defence to stay with Guardiola’s men. 

‘It was not easy for the home midfielders with Bernardo Silva and De Bruyne managing to get into the spaces on the other side and City stretching the hosts’ defensive line.’ The former Cardiff boss added. ‘That’s where the visitors hurt them most.’



[ad_2]

Source link

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours