Manchester United v Manchester City Match in Pictures
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Manchester United players are backing two players amid their struggles under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this term, reports say. The Red Devils have endured a chastening campaign so far, already sitting nine points behind Chelsea in the race for the Premier League title. And more misery may lie in store with Watford up next.
United have lost six of their last 12 matches under Solskjaer, leading to question marks over his position at the helm.
Zinedine Zidane has recently been linked with the job as a result, with the Frenchman still available following his departure from Real Madrid earlier in the summer.
And Brendan Rodgers, Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag are also options to take over despite their current commitments at Leicester, Paris Saint-Germain and Ajax.
Now, to make matters worse, the Telegraph say players are ‘confused’ at Solskjaer’s treatment of Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard.
Neither player has featured much this term, with the pair often watching on from the sidelines no matter how bad results are.
Lingard sparkled at West Ham last term, scoring nine goals after moving to the London Stadium on loan in January.
Yet despite impressing when called upon, the England international has spent the majority of his time stuck on the bench.
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Van de Beek joined United from Ajax back in the summer transfer window of 2020.
He had appeared poised to join Real Madrid but that didn’t happen, with Los Blancos opting to save their cash at the time.
But Van de Beek has made just four league starts for United since his arrival, much to the bemusement of his team-mates.
And it looks increasingly like Solskjaer is losing the dressing room, despite the Glazers being keen to hold fire on his sacking for the time being.
With United players confused at the treatment of the pair, it’ll be interesting to see whether Solskjaer gives them a chance.
Van de Beek could benefit from Paul Pogba’s injury, with the France international likely to be missing for the next few weeks.
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Bruno Fernandes also needs a rest, which could give the Netherlands international a chance for a starting spot.
Lingard will struggle to oust the likes of Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford’s from Solskjaer’s frontline.
Yet if United don’t start playing him soon, it looks increasingly like the playmaker will be on the move when the transfer window reopens at the end of the season.
Jamie O’Hara, meanwhile, recently branded the Red Devils a ‘shambles’ for sticking with Solskjaer.
“I’ve been saying this for weeks, months – Manchester United are a shambles keeping hold of the manager,” he said.
“They’ve got a world-class squad of players with a basic manager who wouldn’t even get another job in the Premier League. I can’t believe they’re not being ruthless enough to say, ‘right, now’s the time to do it’.
“They’ve kept hanging on and hanging on. This season, he [Solskjaer] even said no more excuses with the squad of players they’ve got. Everyone said that.
“And straight away they’re out of the title race, they’re not going to win the title this season, so they’ve wasted another season.
“These players like Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking at it thinking, ‘for Christ’s sake, there are so many good players we’ve got and we should be doing so much better’, but they are all over the place!
“They are painful to watch. It’s actually painful to watch such a good group of players play so badly.
“Any other manager, if it was Mourinho or Van Gaal, if anyone else was going on this run they’d be slaughtered.
“For some reason, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to get a free ride.
“They have got a world class group of players but a bang average manager who’s out of his depth.
“I don’t know why they’re clinging on to something that’s never going to work and never going to last.
“Even Pogba’s coming out and basically said the manager isn’t good enough.
“It’s desperation. Every time I watch Man United, it’s desperation.
“You watch Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea and you know exactly what you’re getting because their managers have them set up a certain way.
“With Man United, the only reason they get results is because they have great players, they don’t have a philosophy or style, they don’t know what they’re doing!”
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