Solskjaer ‘still has support from’ key Man Utd directors

Joe Williams
Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks glum

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still retains support from a number of key figures above him at Man Utd despite their loss to Liverpool on Sunday, according to reports.

The Red Devils have only won three of their last nine matches in all competitions following their humiliating 5-0 loss to Jurgen Klopp’s side.

That result has heaped huge pressure on the Norwegian with Man Utd now seventh in the league, having only picked up one point in their last four Premier League fixtures.

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There has been speculation that Solskjaer could be sacked before their next match against Tottenham on Saturday with Man Utd reportedly sounding out Antonio Conte and Zinedine Zidane over the job.

But The Athletic claims that Solskjaer ‘will very likely be given the opportunity to rectify matters, starting at Tottenham on Saturday’ despite the ‘slight softening’ of the board’s back post-Liverpool.

The report adds that ‘Solskjaer still has support from above for the moment. In the past fortnight, key directors have privately voiced a determination to plan long-term with the Norwegian.’

The Athletic adds:

‘A decision to stand by Solskjaer will bring intense pressure given the scale of debacle against Klopp’s team. United produced a display as shambolic as any seen in decades, with Liverpool able to carve open attacks with ease.

‘Sources have reported confusion over the style as a contributing factor. Solskjaer is said to have given an instruction to press high on Liverpool but players were confused by the exact coordination. In training, United do not train much pressing, with an explanation being that the strategy under Solskjaer is for the man nearest the ball to close down the opponent in possession as the team track back and get into shape.

‘But the approach by United’s players suggests there was a breakdown in communication.’

Meanwhile, Paul Scholes suggested that Paul Pogba shouldn’t play for Man Utd again after his sending off against Liverpool.

Scholes told Premier League Productions: “To say a disappointing day would be a complete understatement.

“I think we all realise it’s been difficult, I just think the manager got caught up in the emotion of the comeback [against Atalanta in the Champions League] on Wednesday night.

“We keep going back to that game but you were never going to do that against Liverpool, they have too much quality.

“I don’t think it was a lack of effort, I think tactically they were set up in a way where this could happen and unfortunately it did happen.

“Paul Pogba coming on to the pitch at half-time to try and help the team and maybe get a little respectability about it, tries to stand on the ball, tries to show how strong he is in the middle of the pitch… gives the goal away.

“Then later on gets sent off with a ridiculous tackle. Now you’re 5-0 down with 10 men. You’d have to think, if Ole’s still a manager there, will we see Pogba again in a United shirt?

“He’s caused mayhem over the last couple of years. Everyone knows what a talent he is, everybody trusts him, every manager trusts him, tried to give him his head and let him be the player he’s been.

“But with all the commotion, not signing his contract, almost holding the club to ransom, and then he comes on and does something like that.

“It’s not Ole’s fault, don’t get me wrong, but that’s part of it which almost summed the United performance up today.

“Look, he probably will play [again] won’t he? But I don’t think they will be missing anything if he doesn’t.

“He’s had numerous chances, he keeps saying he lacks consistency, but that is just [a lack of] discipline and disrespect for your manager and your team-mates, what he’s done today.”