Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand question Manchester United’s defensive decisions

by Marwan Harraz

Manchester United legends Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand have blamed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defenders for some of his stranger tactical decisions.

The legendary Norwegian was criticised for starting with two defensive-minded midfielders in Nemanja Matic and Fred against West Brom at Old Trafford.

United only scraped past their opponents 1-0 thanks to a Bruno Fernandes penalty and many fans were not pleased with the performance despite the win.

There are supporters who felt starting both Matic and Fred meant there’d be a lack of creativity against a team that would sit back and so hoped to see more attacking options start.

However, both Scholes and Ferdinand seemed to hint that Solskjaer’s decision was forced upon him by a shaky defence.

Unfortunately, deflecting the blame doesn’t provide the full picture as it was Solskjaer who personally invested in three of the four defenders who started vs West Brom.

Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles were all the former striker’s purchases and so if they’re at fault, then he’s at fault.

However, at the same time, going with two defensive-minded midfielders might have been brought about by what was a shaky defence at the start of the campaign.

For example, Solskjaer often started one defensive player in either Scott McTominay or Nemanja Matic alongside Paul Pogba in the early stages of the season and it produced results such as the ones against Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace.

The former Molde man must’ve eventually decided to go more conservative and sacrifice creativity for solidity but it’s certainly not a long-term solution.

United have had some world class goalkeepers over the years and some entertaining ones too. Take our quiz below to find out how much you know about United’s number 1’s, past and present.

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