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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tipped to follow similar path to Pep Guardiola at Man Utd

Eric Cantona feels Manchester United could be benefitting from the same scenario which stood Pep Guardiola’s managerial career in good stead.

Man City’s Premier League title win was confirmed courtesy of United’s defeat to Leicester on Tuesday, landing Guardiola an eighth major honour in the club’s hot seat.

The Spaniard is now the standout boss in world football, with over 30 pieces of silverware under his belt since stepping into the dugout in 2007.

By contrast, his closest rival this season – Solskjaer – is still awaiting his first trophy at Old Trafford as a manager, though has plenty of memories of picking them up as a player.

And Cantona – who played alongside the current United boss – believes Solskjaer’s own path can follow that of Guardiola’s, thanks to their similar playing experiences under leading managers.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is slowly closing the gap on Pep Guardiola

“It’s important to win any kind of trophies,” Cantona told Sky Sports . “In the near future, I hope next year they [United] can win the league.

“Now they have tried to find somebody like Ole, like [Pep] Guardiola was a player when Johan Cruyff was the manager at Barcelona and he learned a lot with Cruyff. He became a great manager with the same kind of football philosophy.

“Ole was a player when Alex Ferguson was there. He learned a lot. Ole decided to become a manager and I think it’s great to have a manager who knows the identity of this club. He’s got the DNA of this club.

“I can’t wait for United to win the league again – it will be soon.”

Cantona believes Solskjaer's period learning from Ferguson has been invaluable
Cantona believes Solskjaer’s period learning from Ferguson has been invaluable

Solskjaer has remained in contact with former boss Ferguson, who is on hand to help guide him in the dugout and provide plenty of advice.

The appointment of Fergie’s former assistant Mike Phelan as Solskjaer’s No.2 was also a shrewd move, with the likes of Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher also added to the backroom team since.

Even so, City have barely looked troubled in their charge to the title this season, even if it took them till the final matches to secure their triumph.

While Guardiola has moved on from his Barca days, his own philosophy is very much based and developed on the brainchild of Cruyff’s vision of ‘Total Football’, though it seems like it has taken on another life at City this season.

But Solskjaer has been buoyed by the way his team have kept pace with their rivals as he begins to turn his attentions towards closing the gap further next season.

Speaking after the 2-1 loss to Leicester, Solskjaer said: “You know if you want to take up the challenge with them [Man City] of course we need to strengthen our squad.

“Congratulations to them, they’ve had a fantastic season.

“Very pleased with my boys, because they’ve made it into the last 10 days of the season with a Man City team ahead of us that are lauded as the best in Europe, so we’ve done well.

“But we want to take the next step and it might be that we need a couple more to have a strong squad [for next season].”




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