Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team selection and not picking players who are in top form could cost him his job as Manchester United manager, according to former England forward and United fan Lianne Sanderson.
Speaking on Sky Sports News, Sanderson said ‘I just want Solskjaer to play the players that are in form.’
‘How can a player get momentum? Donny van de Beek’s brilliant and … him and Bruno and Cavani have a great relationship together, and I think to myself, how can a player ever get going?
‘I mean, Mason Greenwood started the game the other day, he hadn’t played for a number of games, he wasn’t even in the squad, how can players ever get momentum, how can we ever get consistency if players are coming and going out of the squad and in the team like they are?
‘I just want Solskjaer to play the players that are in form, to have that consistency.
‘This is why, as a Man United fan right now, I don’t even want to celebrate when we win because I think when’s the next situation going to come along?
‘I am going to continue to back [Solskjaer] but I think last night he did seem naïve and his team selection is going to cost him his job in the end.’
"I just want Solskjaer to play the players that are in-form."
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) December 3, 2020
The counterpart of Sanderson’s belief that Solskjaer does not pick in-form players consistently enough was expressed today by The Peoples Person columnist Marwan Harraz, who said that the manager does not pull out-of-form players out of the team quickly enough.
‘Martial being out of form doesn’t bother me in the slightest. He’s proven he’s got the goods before. My problem is with Solskjaer and his refusal to drop him. Ole’s solution whenever a player is out of form is to play them out of the bad patch,’ Harraz said on his personal Twitter account.
Martial being out of form doesn't bother me in the slightest. He's proven he's got the goods before. My problem is with Solskjaer and his refusal to drop him. Ole's solution whenever a player is out of form is to play them out of the bad patch. Lack of alternatives sucks #mufc
— Marwan Harraz (@MarwanHarraz1) December 3, 2020
Both views are valid. There seem to be players who Solskjaer will pick, if available, in virtually every match he can, irrespective of their form. David de Gea, for example, despite a long patch of inconsistency and a number of high-profile errors, was never dropped by the manager. Harry Maguire went through a poor run at the start of the season but was not dropped. Fred’s poor performance against Southampton nearly cost United the game, but he was not dropped. Martial’s litany of missed chances this term have cost the team points. Marcus Rashford has also gone through some poor patches of form.
On the other hand, as Sanderson points out, the likes of Donny van de Beek and Mason Greenwood are pulled in and out of the team even when on top form, making it hard for the team to find consistency. Nemanja Matic, similarly, is in and out of the team regardless, it seems, of his current form.
Whether this inconsistency in the manager’s team selections will lead to his sacking, as Sanderson predicts, is debatable. But it is certainly hard to understand and fathom and clearly has cost United a rapidy increasing number of points since he took the helm two years ago.
Edinson Cavani has made quite an impact since his deadline day arrival at Old Trafford, but how much do you know about our other South American players, past and present? Take our quiz below to find out!