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Stam: Solskjaer must set playing identity for Man Utd

Manchester United Treble winner Jaap Stam has called on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to rediscover a playing identity for the club.

Stam reckons Solskjaer should take a leaf from Pep Guardiola's book across town at City and only buy players because they fit into his system — not ­because they are big names.

The Feyenoord coach said: “I was Ole's ­room-mate when I was at the club, and we are good friends, so we have spoken a lot about what he needs to do. Even in those days I always saw him as a manager. When we were staying in hotels he always spoke about ­football, about different systems and ­everything like that, so it was no ­surprise when he became a ­manager after playing.

“He has a tough job. It's about what you can do, and what you think about football — but then ­getting the players to believe in that and in your philosophy. Eventually, by believing in it and getting results, the team will grow. The important thing is to get a system, and the right ­players for that system."

He added: “A good example is ­Pep. He has a system and a philosophy of how he wants to play. Then he looks at the players who will fit into that. He's not looking at ones and buying them just because a good player is available.

Sir Alex Ferguson was the same during his time as ­manager. He had his ­philosophy of how to do it, how he wanted to play and he found the players to do that. You look at the qualities in players, the mentality, the ­character and quality of them. It really doesn't matter if they are not a name – it is about how they will play in the ­system. If you do that, and recruit well, then you will get results."

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Paul Vegas

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