Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hits back at Robin van Persie's 'smiling' criticism: 'He doesn't have a right to criticise my style'

Manchester United manager responds to comments made by the club's former striker after the defeat to Arsenal

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has responded to recent comments from the club's former striker, Robin van Persie, by insisting the Dutchman "does not have the right" to criticise his management style.

Van Persie, who spent three seasons at Old Trafford and scored 48 goals in 86 appearances while winning one Premier League title, hit out at Solskjaer for smiling in the post-match interview following United's 2-0 defeat to Arsenal.

"I see him smiling now after a game like that. This is not the moment to smile,” Van Persie, 36, said while working as a television pundit for BT Sport.

"When I listen to Ole, he sounds like a really nice guy. I would like to see him a bit more mean at times, just be angry."

Solskjaer responded on Friday as he prepares his side for Saturday's FA Cup third round tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.

"I don't know Robin and Robin doesn't know me," said Solskjaer, who spent 11 years as a United player, scoring 91 goals in 235 games. "He probably doesn't have a right to criticise my management style and I won't change.

"Yeah Robin, he took my [shirt] No 20 and that's probably all he's going to take from me as well."

Solskjaer was also forced to use his pre-match press conference to play down any suggestion of a disagreement over Paul Pogba's recent ankle surgery.

The Norwegian manager said on New Year's Day that Pogba's "people" had advised that the player, who has only started six matches in all competitions this season due to ankle problems, required surgery.

Speculation continues to surround the 26-year-old Frenchman, who has been regularly linked with a move away from Old Trafford and whose agent, Mino Raiola, has been scathing about the club in comments made in the Italian media.

Solskjaer sought to set the record straight regarding the World Cup winner, who joined United for a then world record £89 million (Dh428m) fee in 2016.

"Paul came back after a long spell out, (featured in) a few games, had a reaction, and didn't go to Burnley," he said.

"He felt his ankle was sore, we did a scan. It's not the same injury, it's a different injury, of course when you get that scan you (as a player) consult your own medical people as well, like I did. He wanted a second opinion and the advice was to have it done.

"It's not a major (injury) and probably, as I said, (he will be out) three or four weeks."


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