Solskjaer previews Man Utd v Liverpool in Premier League
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Manchester United would have won a Premier League title had Jurgen Klopp accepted Sir Alex Ferguson’s advances in 2013, Micah Richards has claimed. Legendary former Red Devils boss Ferguson is believed to have courted Klopp upon his departure eight years ago, only for the then Borussia Dortmund head coach to turn down the role.
The Old Trafford outfit ended up appointing David Moyes, who had been successful with Everton and was deemed the appropriate successor to Ferguson.
However, Moyes endured an ill-fated spell and was sacked before the end of his first season.
Three more managers have been appointed and have failed to deliver the club’s first league title since Ferguson’s final season. Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and, so far, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have tried and failed.
Solskjaer is currently under pressure to turn around results after a big-spending summer transfer window. His side have already lost two top-flight fixtures and trail leaders Chelsea by eight points.
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And Richards has insisted that Klopp, a rare case in turning down United, would have replicated Ferguson’s success. The German was appointed as Liverpool boss two years after Ferguson’s departure and has won a league title and the Champions League.
United face Klopp’s Liverpool in an eagerly anticipated Premier League clash on Sunday.
“You don’t turn Manchester United down. That was always an unwritten rule, certainly when I was playing,” Richards wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“If you heard within the game there was interest from Old Trafford in someone, it was odds-on that is where they would go.
“The only way you didn’t end up at Old Trafford was if you were at Liverpool or Manchester City. I heard there were strong rumours about Sir Alex Ferguson wanting to sign me and had I played for anyone else other than City, I would have swum to join him.
He continued: “Jurgen Klopp, however, was an exception to the rule.
“Ferguson spoke to him about the possibility of taking over as manager when he was working for Borussia Dortmund but the German turned him down, as he did not want to break his contract and didn’t believe the time was right.
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“It was the right decision. The landscape of English football would have looked completely different had he been swayed by Ferguson.
“I’m pretty sure United would have had another Premier League title had he been their manager for the six years he’s been at Liverpool.”
United boss Solskjaer has already conceded that his side’s title chances could be over if they continue to drop points.
“This early you can’t talk about titles or anything, we are chasing them, Liverpool are one of the teams we are trying to catch up on, in the last four years, even though last season we were ahead of them maybe because of bad luck with injuries.
“We still know we have to improve to get up to the level of their last four years.”
Bemoaning chances conceded in previous fixtures against Leicester and Atalanta, he continued: “You can’t give them chances, we gave Atalanta two and they scored two. In football teams are gonna create chances, that’s the nature of the game.
“I don’t agree with everyone when people say we were really bad against Atalanta, they were clinical. So will Liverpool. We can’t give them an inch in our box.”
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