OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER has been warned that he cannot afford to ‘win ugly’ – even if he brings the Europa League trophy back to Old Trafford.
Manchester United return to the European stage against Club Brugge — knowing success in the competition could still be their best chance of securing Champions League football.
But former Red Devils striker Robin van Persie has told Solskjaer that even a Euro triumph will not ease the pressure surrounding his Old Trafford future – unless their playing style improves.
RVP said: “Question marks over Ole will remain unless something changes, even if they win the Europa League — the standards are that high.
“It would help take some pressure off, but the club have been winning over so many years and everyone remembers the Ferguson era.
“His philosophy was about taking risks and playing entertaining football and that’s what United fans expect.
“When you play there that’s the pressure you have to get used to. Winning is not enough — you have to win in a nice and attractive way.”
Despite earning a vital three points away to Chelsea on Monday night, United have endured a disappointing and inconsistent season under Ole.
Injuries to the likes of Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay have hindered their progress, while a lack of strength in depth up front has seen them struggle to score goals.
The emphatic points gap between themselves and rivals Liverpool and Man City has also seen the likes of Mauricio Pochettino linked with the United job in the summer.
Victory in Europe could save Ole’s skin — but RVP points to Jose Mourinho’s Europa League success with the club to suggest lifting trophies is not enough.
Van Persie admits Jose Mourinho’s Europa League title was not ‘satisfying’[/caption]
Van Persie explained: “When they won under Mourinho, somehow it didn’t feel satisfying.
“They won it, yes, but you have to do it in a certain way. If you win ugly, I don’t think it counts for some people.
“If you go back to that final against Ajax, it was a tactical final. The games before that were not great either.
“You were not describing United as being a couple of levels above their opponent.
“They got over the line in the final, but over the next couple of months Solskjaer needs to go that one stage further.
“Football is entertainment and fans want to see that. Miss a chance? That’s fine, but it has to be in a way that pleases the eye.
“Yes, there are many styles to win; there is more than one way to Rome. But the system they find has to be a positive one.
“And I hope for Solskjaer he can find that style, whatever that is, and do it in a classy way.
“He has proven himself in Europe before but if you are the coach of United you always have to prove yourself. That never stops, from the first day to the last.”
RVP also sees this year’s Europa League knock-out stages being one of the most competitive yet.
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And the Dutchman feels getting to the final is not a done-deal for Solskjaer and United.
Van Persie added: “It is a great trophy to win, up against some really good sides.
“Over the last couple of years teams just under that top level are getting better with more money to spend on better players.
“If you look at the squad of Inter for example, that is a top-quality team. If you draw against them it is going to be tough.
“It is not a certainty that United will even reach the final.”
Robin van Persie is partnering UEFA Europa League sponsor Enterprise Rent-A-Car on their Europa Road Trip campaign – to discover more and enjoy special rates across Europe visit enterprise.co.uk/UEL
This post written by Jordan Davies originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.