Manchester United are on the lookout for a new permanent manager following the decision to relieve Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of his duties following last weekend’s defeat to Watford
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has told Manchester United they must stop living in the past or ‘should go to a hospital to clean their head’.
United are currently on the lookout for their fifth permanent boss since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, with the shadow of their former boss still looming large over Old Trafford.
Constant references to the ‘ Manchester United DNA’ were a staple of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ’s doomed stint in the dugout, often harping back to the glory days during his own playing career.
The Red Devils are now more than eight years removed from their last league title, with four years separating them from a trophy of any kind.
There is now a growing sentiment that United need to ditch the attachment to the past in order for them to truly compete with the game’s top teams.
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And Ibrahimovic, who spent two seasons with United helping them to the League Cup and Europa League, also believes they need to cut emotional ties with past success.
He told the Guardian: “They talk too much about the past. When I went there I said: ‘I’m here to focus on the present and to make my own story.’
“But when you have too much it becomes like a loop. You have to think about the present or you should go to a hospital and clean your head.”
The mercurial Swedish forward scored 17 goals in his first Premier League season before injuries ensured his second only comprised of five league appearances.
Speaking about his time in England, Ibrahimovic suggested that while the technical quality is perhaps overrated, the pace and intensity does make it unique.
“I had a great experience in England. Manchester United are an amazing club and we won a couple of trophies,” the 40-year-old continued.
“The quality is overrated in a technical way. But the Premier League has different qualities – the pace, the rhythm. You can be the best player in the world but if you cannot handle that pace and rhythm [you won’t succeed].
“In Spain, France, Italy, the technique is better. That’s why there are so many foreigners in the Premier League. They bring the technical [aspect].”
United’s beleaguered squad are set for their first match following the decision to dismiss Solskjaer as they take on Villarreal in the Champions League.
Michael Carrick will be in charge in Spain, with Solskjaer’s former coach hinting there won’t be any radical changes to the tactical setup which has brought about just one win in their last seven Premier League matches.
Speaking to the press before their flight to Spain, Carrick said: “Me and Ole have very similar beliefs tactically. I have my own ideas but we have very similar beliefs.
“I’m not giving too much away but I have it very clear in my mind how I want the team to play.
“It’s a challenge. You have to focus, there’s a responsibility to be at this club in whatever position. I’ll throw myself into everything I can. Of course it’s a limited time but I’m relishing the challenge.”