Zlatan: Man United held back by Ferguson

Joe Prince-Wright
NBC Sports

It’s not like Zlatan Ibrahimovic at all to speak his mind…

The LA Galaxy star, 37, has been talking to the Daily Mirror about his former club, Manchester United, and how things are going under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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Putting their Scandinavian rivalry to one side, it appears Zlatan is trying to send Ole a message: stop mentioning Sir Alex Ferguson.

“Everything that happens is judged by the era of Ferguson,” Ibrahimovic said. “They are saying if Ferguson was here, this would not happen, Ferguson would not do it like that. Ferguson would do it like this. Everything was Ferguson. If it was me, I would say I don’t have Ferguson anymore. And I come here and I want to make my own history, I want to make my own story.

“So I do not want to hear what happened before. I want to do it in the present. You come in with a new mentality. Ferguson has his place in history at this club but now the club continues. It has to find its own identity and it is difficult.”

Does he have a point?

In some ways, yes, he is spot on. But we all knew moving on from one of the greatest managers in the history of the game would be a tough thing for United to do. It has proven that, as David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have come and gone in the six seasons since Fergie retired and United have an FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League trophy and two top four finishes to show for it.

Zlatan is a mischievous fellow and also referred to the ‘Class of 92’ as the “Circle of Ferguson” and hit out at them for not working for the club and instead criticizing the team on TV.

Is he right to suggest Solskjaer should stop mentioning the good old days at United under Ferguson?

Many believe Solskjaer is being a little too nostalgic and is playing on the history of the club a little too much, but he did spend 10 years there as a player and was involved in the most successful period in club history. So, he’s probably going to be quite fond of that period.

Zlatan is spot on about the ongoing identity crisis at United. Everyone connected with the club is stuck in limbo between wanting the Ferguson era to return and to see a drastic change and good times roll around again.

Solskjaer’s appointment as caretaker boss, and probably the new permanent manager, will complicate things and probably switch the focus back to replicating the Ferguson era.

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