Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s ‘ego’ comments were a ‘backhanded slap’ at Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho
Troy Deeney thinks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s comments about trophies being an ‘ego thing’ for managers and clubs was a dig at his predecessor Jose Mourinho.
Solskjaer is still searching for his first piece of silverware as Manchester United manager and saw his chances dwindle further as they were dumped out the FA Cup by Leicester on Sunday.
Their last remaining competition of the 2020/21 season where they can win silverware is the Europa League.
Should they not win that, it will be two-and-a-half years at Old Trafford for the Norwegian without a cup.
Mourinho was at the Red Devils for the same amount of time and won the League Cup and Europa League.
The Tottenham manager is famous for being someone who delivers lots of silverware, even if his Spurs reign isn’t currently going to plan.
But Solskjaer made reference to cup competitions in an interview last week claiming they can hide your progress.
Solskjaer said: “We’re all aiming to win trophies at this club, but sometimes the trophy can hide other things that are happening at the club.
“It’s in the league positions that you see whether you’re progressing, really. The cups you can be lucky or unlucky. Of course we’re aiming to win, that’s why you play football.
“I felt a big rebuild had to be made. The league is always the bread and butter and that’s when you see how capable you are.
“The cups are sometimes an ego thing for managers and clubs. It’s not like a trophy will say ‘we are back’, no. It’s gradual progression at the top of the league. Sometimes the cup competitions can hide your progress a bit.”
Watford striker Deeney thinks this is a reference to Mourinho for a Paddy Power advert he did.
“I interpreted that as a backhanded slap at Mourinho, with the recent advert that came out,” Deeney told talkSPORT Breakfast.
“I think he’s says ‘if we win a trophy, it doesn’t mean we are back to competing year in, year out’.
“He’s walking through and says ‘I’ve won everything, and came second at Man United’. It’s a little bit of a dig at Man United.
“I just think Ole is trying to reference that he wants Man United in the conversation every year to be competing.
“This year we would say they’re only competing because Liverpool have been poor. At the start of the season, no one picked United to win the league.
“They’ve had a great season and they are building, but no one has said ‘we’re going to put money on them to win’, unless you’re a United fan.”
The Red Devils are second in the Premier League, but still 14 points behind rivals Man City.