Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes Liverpool will find it difficult to emulate the sustained success of Manchester United’s 13 Premier League titles in 20 years under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Jürgen Klopp’s side clinched a 19th championship when Manchester City lost at Chelsea on Thursday. This ended a 30-year wait and Liverpool’s 23-point lead over City with seven matches left suggests a period of dominance could be established but Solskjær questioned whether United’s fiercest rivals – or any other club – could repeat Ferguson’s achievement.
“The run of titles that we won under Sir Alex, I don’t think that’s going to be easy for anyone to emulate,” said the United manager, who won six league championships as a player under the Scot.
Solskjær referenced United’s 26-year drought, which ended with the 1993 title triumph. “Sir Alex was a master of staying at the top so, for me, our challenge is to make sure we don’t go, say, 26 years until the next time we win it or more. We’re going to do everything we can to shorten the distance or even go past them.”
Solskjaer congratulated Liverpool but admitted hurt at United not lifting the trophy. “Any team that wins the championship and a Premier League deserves it and deserves credit,” he said. “It’s a hard league to win – well done to Jürgen and his players. Every time you see anyone else lift the trophy it hurts … We want to get back to winning ways and that’s our challenge.”
Solskjaer’s side trail Liverpool by 37 points but he did not wish to be drawn regarding how far off the champions they are. “We know at our best we are very good. We have to do that every Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or whatever day it is; we have got to do it again and again. That’s the challenge.”
United are at Norwich for Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final and Solskjær believes winning the trophy would be crucial to his developing side. “It’s a new team and to get hands on a first trophy and win a first title would be fantastic and hopefully a catalyst for more things to come,” he said.