Ole Gunnar Solskjaer speaks at a FA Cup press conference

Solskjaer on the makings of a United captain

Thursday 24 January 2019 22:30

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set out his credentials for what it takes to be a captain at Manchester United when he addressed the media ahead of Friday night’s FA Cup tie against Arsenal.

Solskjaer, who has Ashley Young wearing the armband until club captain Antonio Valencia returns to fitness, spoke of the need for every player to be vocal when they step onto the pitch as well as the need for players with strong personalities.

"I've never been a fan of you're this and you're that. It’s 11 captains out there really,” Solskjaer said.

“It's all personalities, big personalities. I think it's important that you're not afraid of standing in front of your team-mates and putting them in their place if you have to.

"I think I have to be fair to Ash [Young] who is our skipper. He is maybe one of the last old school ones. He sounds like Rio [Ferdinand] and Gary [Neville]."

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There was certainly no lack of strong voices in the United dressing room during Solskjaer's playing career at Old Trafford, with the likes of Eric Cantona, Roy Keane and Gary Neville all leading out the Reds during that time. The Norwegian reminisced about the different characteristics that each captain possessed and how they all had their differences.

"I've had all sorts of captains,” he added. “We had Eric, who was captain when I came. He wasn't very outspoken, but he led by example. Of course, Keano as well, he was a fantastic captain.

"Gary [Neville] was a different captain, he was more vocal and Giggsy at times was also a good captain - when he spoke you listened as he didn't speak a lot. Gary probably spoke the most."

As for the leader-types in the current dressing room, Solskjaer cites Paul Pogba as an example, having known him from their previous spells at the club when the Norwegian was coaching the Reserves and the Frenchman was in United's Academy.

"I know the boy from before and he is a leader,” he said. “He is a character, he influences people and he cares and he really wants to be successful.

"He knows he can't do it by himself. It's a team game and he's a character that brings so many good things with him when he's enjoying himself, I have to say."

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When asked about how Pogba and modern players in general use social media, Solskjaer replied: "It's part of the era we live in.

"That's society now, that's what they're used to. The kids now are used to that, I'm not, but they are and it's all positive.

"It's all good messages and I don't have any problem with that whatsoever, because that's Paul."

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