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Solskjaer begs for time after Man Utd hit new low

Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pleaded for time to get Manchester United back on track after the beleaguered boss and his under-performing stars were booed off and labelled an “embarrassment” following Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat against Burnley.

Solskjaer’s side were rocked by Chris Wood’s first half opener before Jay Rodriguez scored with a superb strike after the break at Old Trafford.

It was a woeful display from fifth placed United, who are in such poor form that there will be fresh questions about Solskjaer’s job security in the coming days.

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand, a Premier League and Champions League winner with the club, slammed the performance and called for owners Glazer family to take action to stop the rot.

“Fans are walking out after 84 minutes! It’s an embarrassment. People at the top need to look and see this and make changes,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

“The downward spiral in this short space of time, it’s only seven years, has been remarkable.”

Solskjaer had no complaints about a result that laid bare everything wrong with a rudderless team lacking steel in defence, creativity in midfield and a cutting edge up front.

“We have got to hold our hands up and say it wasn’t good enough. In the first half we created some half openings but we were not sharp enough to take our chances,” Solskjaer said.

“The boys have given everything they have got but they are experiencing this period for the first time in their lives. 

“When you are at Manchester United you are playing at the biggest and best club in the world. Some of them have played 10, 12, 15 games and it’s not easy for them.”

United trail six points behind fourth placed Chelsea but, given how they have struggled so often this season, the only surprise is that the gap isn’t bigger.

United’s tally of 34 points is their lowest after 24 matches of a top-flight season since 1989-90 and the majority of Old Trafford was on its feet when chants of “stand up if you hate Glazers” echoed around the ground.

– ‘Mentally tired’ –

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was also subjected to abusive chants in a toxic atmosphere, while those few fans who remained in the stadium booed Solskjaer and his players at full-time.

But Solskjaer is still adamant he can turn the tide if he is given time to develop United youngsters like Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams.

“I’m going to back them and help them get through this. The players are giving everything, they have done absolutely fantastic so far this season but they know it wasn’t good enough tonight,” Solskjaer said.

“The boys looked mentally tired towards the end, we didn’t find that creativity. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. 

“When you are at Man United you are privileged because you are playing for the best club in the world. Sometimes you go through periods like that and it is a test I am sure they are going to come through.”

United must regroup to avoid more misery in the FA Cup fourth round against Watford or Tranmere on Sunday before they head to Manchester City looking to overturn a 3-1 first leg deficit in the League Cup semi-finals next Wednesday.

If United are knocked out of both cup competitions, Solskjaer is likely to find the patience of supporters who idolised him during his playing days will dwindle even further.

The gap between United and runaway leaders Liverpool stood at 30 points after Sunday’s defeat at Anfield and there is no sign of Solskjaer bridging the divide any time soon.

Aware the pressure is mounting, Solskjaer is keen to make signings to bolster his injury-hit squad, with leading scorer Marcus Rashford and star midfielder Paul Pogba both sidelined.

“We are looking to improve, we have got our targets. This is our second defeat at home and first since August. I thought we had turned that corner,” he said.

“We have started a clear-out and now I am going to be answering these questions until the window closes. We are working on things.

“For me the most important thing is we have to perform on the pitch. Tonight wasn’t good enough for a Manchester United team.”

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  1. Allan Lindh

    January 24, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    Does anyone ask how Frank Lampard would be faring at Chelsea if for the last year he had been without his best? (most expensive) player, his best outside full, and more recently his best young mid and his best striker? Ole Gunnar is not to blame for the money squandered. Given how depleted MU’s roster is, they have looked fit and ready to fight against the better sides, and they are still in 5th place. If they would unload Paul (doesn’t really want to play) Pogba and invest it in a better mid-field, they would contend for Champions League.

  2. Yespage

    January 23, 2020 at 10:47 am

    With the exception of one season under Mourinho, Man U have finished with between 64 and 70 points each season since Ferguson’s departure. This includes four hired managers. So I think we can establish that isn’t just the manager that is the issue. I hope it becomes the “Curse of Moyes”, for the fan base turning on him so quickly, for not reproducing Ferguson like results immediately.

    • rkujay

      January 23, 2020 at 12:55 pm

      I’ll stand behind Ole. He is a legend. The fans forget how much disdain there was for Sir Alex and how loud the calls were for his removal. One gets a long look, if not a long memory, following a team for more than six decades.

  3. rkujay

    January 23, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Ed woodhead is a wonderful deal maker with kit and bling, although he got trumped by Liverpool and Nike. He is woefully inadequate dealing for players. A Director of football is the minimum needed. There’s a great deal of talk that United does not have trade cash. The Glazers need to do more than have Ole say ‘there’s cash if I need it.’ Well, it’s needed. It has been needed, despite spending some 850 million pounds on players since Sir Alex’s retirement. And we watched Pogba walk for free, then bought him back. We’re about to do the same thing with two more academy products. We’re looking at a decade of mediocrity and struggle for place number six through eleven. At the rate woodhead signs players, my estimate of a decade is vastly optimistic.

  4. Marc

    January 23, 2020 at 8:53 am

    The manager is always at fault with the way the team is playing. Granted I don’t know why Solskjaer keeps playing the ball out of the back, or has Andreas playing at all. Both have resulted in lose of procession and goals. It is not his fault with the squad that he has. I think I read United have the top wage bill in the premier league. If you look at the squad you will have a laugh and wouldn’t believe that. He is not in charge of the players wages. After Sir Alex retired the Galzers have spent millions on players and tranfer fees that previous managers wanted. Lets see if I can remember some Falcao, Depay, Schneiderlin, Fellaini, Di Maria, Herrera, Blind, Lukaku, Sanchez, Pogba, Rojo, Bailley, Dalot, Shaw, Lindelof, Fred. Now I am not a fan of the Glazer, never have been, but as you can see the recruitment hasn’t been to good, but the money has been spent. There will be no signings this transfer period in which the club is in desperate need of. Ole needs more time to rely on his youth & to get rid of the dead weight. Except for Andreas the academy players have been the best players for him. Patience, but this day and age nobody has any.

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