Ole Gunnar Solskjaer joked about a recent Donny Van de Beek incident when quizzed by a Dutch broadcaster, though did admit the midfielder is “not happy” and “frustrated”.
Manchester United once again came from behind to secure a late victory at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. United’s players were visibly overjoyed at the final whistle, though one player who yet again played no part was Van de Beek.
The Dutchman’s nightmare in Manchester shows no signs of abating. Despite constant chopping and changing in Solskjaer’s midfield, Van de Beek is rarely given a look-in. Indeed, he was registered just 141 minutes of action this season, with 90 of those coming in the EFL Cup.
Van de Beek’s frustrations were visible three weeks ago when spotted throwing his chewing gum in the direction of Man Utd’s dugout. The incident came after Jesse Lingard was chosen to come on from the bench against Villarreal instead of the Dutchman.
And in the aftermath of their comeback victory over Atalanta, Dutch broadcaster RTL7 quizzed Solskjaer on the incident.
Solskjaer, though, was in a jovial mood and joked (via the Mirror): “It’s wiser to throw away your chewing gum and not to swallow it. We learned that as children.
“And giving your chewing gum to someone else is not possible in these Corona times either. Sensible, so I could see he was throwing it away.”
Asked to clarify Van de Beek’s ongoing situation at Old Trafford, Solskjaer said: “Donny is still working hard, of course, and at the moment it’s hard. I understand Donny is frustrated, he’s disappointed but he keeps on working every day with a big smile.
“I know he’s not happy, but he works hard and he’s a top professional. He knows that that’s the way that sometimes it works in football. At the moment he’s not playing but he doesn’t let himself down.”
Asked specifically why Van de Beek isn’t playing, Solskjaer added: “I can’t go into every single player. But if you see our team today I thought our performance was really good. He’s got some good players that he plays with.
“He keeps training well and I enjoy having him there and I hope for him that he gets his chances.”
Solskjaer fires back at interviewer
Meanwhile, Solskjaer snapped back after a reporter’s claim about his players following their 3-2 victory over Atalanta.
Pressure had been mounting on the Norwegian after a run of form that produced just two wins from seven prior to Wednesday night.
And when BT Sport’s interviewer stated that the comeback win proved Man Utd’s players were still playing for Solskjaer despite recent poor results, the manager retorted: “Don’t disrespect the players.
“They play for Manchester United and they know they are the luckiest men in the world.
“Tonight they are the luckiest men in the world because they get to play for Manchester United. That is what so many millions of boys and girls want to do.”