Ahead of tonight’s Europa League final against Villareal, United boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has taken a swipe at the British media, suggesting there’s an agenda against him and his players, as he doesn’t believe the 1999 Champions League final gets mentioned anywhere near enough.
Speaking exclusively to Paddy Power News, the Norwegian spoke passionately about his success as a player and believes his side’s best chance of winning is if they are constantly surrounded by the previous successes of the club – including footage of famous last-minute winning goal playing on repeat 24/7.
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“Since Monday, I’ve adjusted all of our training sessions to include something about that 1999 final,” he told us. “The lads have had it drilled into them.”
“David and Deano have been learning how to do the Schmeichel somersault, Marcus has been watching YouTube clips of Teddy’s goal, whilst Fred and Scotty have been learning the birthdays of Jesper Blomqvist and Jaap Stam.
“Only this morning I had Bruno, Mason and Edi out on the training pitch recreating my winning goal,” continued Solskjaer.
“Bruno was pretending to be Becks, putting the cross in. Edi was Teddy with the flick on.
“And, well, I’ve been playing myself actually, sticking the ball in the net every time.”
“We needed a goalkeeper to make it authentic, so we put a Bayern shirt on Mason and put him in goal; he was Oliver Kahn.”
Having overcome the jinx of losing in every semi-final he has reached with this United side, Solskjaer expressed an obvious determination to take the trophy back to Manchester, and hopes the British press will do more to support his side.
“It’s twenty-two years to the day since I scored the winning goal in that final, and I am really disappointed at how rarely it gets mentioned.
“Yes, Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC, ITV, ESPN, beIN Sport, Comedy Central, Channel Five, MTV, VH1, BabeStation TV, the History Channel and the official Manchester United social media account have all referenced it on more than one occasion this week, but is that really enough? I don’t think so.”
Away from Manchester United, their cup final opponents, Villareal, have had a much happier build up to the final, with club boss Unai Emery being commended for his services to the Europa League.
Emery (49) will be presented with a special award before kick-off, due to this being his fifth Europa League final as a manager. Despite winning three finals with Sevilla, it is acknowledged that his greatest achievement was getting an Arsenal side consisting of Sokratis and Xhaka to a cup final, where they lost 4-1 to Chelsea.
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