Pundit rejects Keane’s Man Utd claim and calls Ole ‘luckiest man alive’

Joe Williams
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd

Steve Nicol has rejected Roy Keane’s claim that the Man Utd squad alone will get Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fired from his job.

The Red Devils lost their third Premier League match of the season against Arsenal on Sunday as a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty was enough to give the Gunners a 1-0 win.

The result leaves Man Utd in 15th place in the table, with Solskjaer’s men already finding themselves nine points off leaders Liverpool.

Prick of the Week No. 8: Roy Keane, leadership, and disrespect

Solskjaer is now feeling the pressure after the defeat to Arsenal – but Keane thinks the players have a lot to answer for.

In the aftermath, Keane told Sky Sports: “I judge the players by their actions and I just don’t see it. I never looked at a manager expecting to motivate me, that comes from within.

“Ole will lose his job working with these players as night follows day – that’s what is going to happen.”

However, former Liverpool right-back Nicol reckons Solskjaer has to take a large chunk of the blame for their results this term.

When asked if Solskjaer can be absolved of responsibility over their league placing, Nicol told ESPN: “No. Absolutely not.

“Listen, what Keane has said it’s hard to disagree with because as a player part of your responsibility is to be ready for the whistle to go.

“Self-motivation, which Roy is always on about, ‘I don’t need anybody to tell me to do this or do that’. Well, unfortunately, people like Roy Keane aren’t playing the game anymore.

“So 100% Ole’s responsibility is to make sure… as a coach sometimes you can smell that the dressing room is flat before a game and it’s part of your job to be able to figure that out.


“Clearly, Ole couldn’t figure that out. That, in my opinion, is down to experience and spending a lot of time with your players, knowing your players inside out. Know what they’re thinking and how they’re behaving and what is normal.

“Football players like normal. That’s why we get ready at the same time every week, we put on the right boot first. It’s normal. His job is to spot when it’s not normal. And he didn’t do it and that’s lack of experience. He has to take responsibility for that as well.”

And Nicol reckons Solskjaer would be getting “absolutely slaughtered” if there were still Man Utd fans at Old Trafford.

Nicol added: “Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the luckiest man alive that there’s no fans in the stadium. Because if there were he would be getting absolutely slaughtered by Manchester United fans.

“The fact that everybody above Ole likes him and nothing is going to happen while they’re in charge, if there were supporters in the stadium he would absolutely be getting crucified.

“When the game is finished, you don’t have to go and look at the media, you don’t have to go on Twitter, you don’t have to go on Instagram, you don’t have to do any of that. You can kind of cocoon yourself with the players and the club and everything else.

“But you can’t hide when there’s a crowd and there’s 70,000 people at Old Trafford and you’re rotten. So he’s a lucky man right now.”


There are no Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City representatives in our rundown of the top ten players of the season. Nor Manchester United, of course, but Jay Rodriguez gets in?!