How Solskjaer plans to teach United's forwards
In his press conference to preview the Premier League match against Bournemouth, Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer provided a fascinating insight into the art of goalscoring and how he plans to help our current crop of forwards...
“I wasn't born with the ability to move in front of goal. I studied finishing, I studied goals, I studied movement, I worked on my mentality because that's key.
”You know you'll miss chances, but you can't do anything about them. It's all about the next one. You've got to be one step ahead as a striker to create that space you need as that's your best friend, apart from the ball, but you need that space.
“My first job here, after I finished playing, was as a forward coach so I worked with Cristiano [Ronaldo], Wayne [Rooney] and Danny Welbeck. [Carlos] Tevez was here too. It was a good start for me. Seriously, that was my strength - to put the ball in the net. I'm sure I can give these boys a little bit of that detail into scoring goals because on talent and physical attributes, all these boys have got loads more than me.
“I think Marcus Rashford has got the motivation and inspiration himself to become the best he can be. He practises a lot, he's got so much more than I had in the physical attributes - his pace and strength, striking from outside the box.
”Maybe I can give him a little bit of that nous that I had in the box - your movement to get free, that little bit of calmness in front of goal. But it's easy to say when I was 27, 28 or 29 because Marcus is 21 and still learning.
“But for me, the most important thing is to settle him down in front of goal. I've seen him rush a few finishes like 'I really need to get a shot off early'. Sometimes you just pass it past the keeper, because if there's a defender you just pass it past him or you go past him. That goal will never move. I'm really looking forward to having the amount of talent that I'm working with now up front.
“I will [relay my experiences to them]. I'll get to that because now I’ve got to know all of the software and the videos that we've got. I want to get into their heads and how they are thinking because that's the only thing they can control really - how they approach different situations.
”Throughout my life, ever since I played back home, instead of listening to the teacher, you were sat writing down your goals and your chances and thinking 'I should have done that' or 'I should have done this'. That's all I was thinking about really. I will get time to spend time with them.
“I’m not shocked by the talented forwards we have at United because we've always had top, top strikers at this club. Always. I've played with so many good ones and, to win games, you need to score goals. To score goals, you need top strikers. We've got top ones. It's about confidence as well.
“I've spoken about this in the Norwegian press. I've got a diary back home. After I met [sports psychologist] Bill Beswick when he came to the club, he made me aware of how important that confidence work is. I've got a diary of, not what we did, but how I was thinking and how I reacted to different situations in games.
”It starts with 'I've had enough of bad performances and bad confidence'. That was as a 27-year-old. All of the ones we're talking about, apart from Alexis, are way younger than 27 so, of course, it's the mental bit we need to work with.
“To work on it, you focus in training, score loads of goals during training sessions. If you've not scored enough during the game, you finish the day off with some extra finishing. Finishing is different to shooting - I've always said that.
”The thought process should be done in the training sessions, then naturally you will do it in the games. We can sit for hours and hours and hours talking about finishing practices and scoring goals because that's always been my passion. Whenever the training session and team sessions are done, I'll make sure I get time to work with the boys. There is one way of getting better and that is practising - on and off the pitch.
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