One major flaw of Solskjaer’s enough for Man Utd to ponder his future, says pundit

Date published: Friday 28th May 2021 7:30 - Matthew Briggs

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Unai Emery Europa League final TEAMtalk

Paul Merson has attacked Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and believes Old Trafford officials need to think twice about offering him a contract extension after highlighting a major flaw in his armoury.

Solskjaer watched on in Poland this week as his United side lost to Villarreal in the Europa League final. United were eventually beaten 11-10 on penalties by Unai Emery’s Villarreal after a cagey 1-1 draw. It was a disappointing performance from United, who were unable to create chances against a well-drilled and resolute Villarreal side.

And ex-Arsenal man Merson thinks Solskjaer ended up getting “embarrassed” by former Arsenal boss Emery.

“It was really disappointing for Manchester United on Wednesday night,” Merson told Sky Sports. “Actually, I thought it was shocking, if I’m being honest.

“I watched the game and even after extra time, 120 minutes of football, neither goalkeeper had to make a save.

“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got embarrassed really. Villarreal made the five substitutions and it was really clever from Unai Emery. They had the fresher legs in extra time, and they didn’t really look like losing.

“They looked the better team and Solskjaer just didn’t react. He just didn’t change it up and they paid the price in the end.”

Some questions have been asked of Solskjaer following their failure to overcome the LaLiga side. But it seems United are going to keep their faith in their former striker, who guided the club into second place this season.

According to the Telegraph, United will offer Solskjaer a new three-year contract in the summer. His current deal is due to expire at the end of next season.

Merson though has serious concerns over Solskjaer’s leadership and has questioned his ability to overcome teams who defend deep against United.

“They haven’t won the league for eight years now and that can easily turn into nine next year,” added merson. “It’s turning into a bit of a worry for United.

“It’s a hard one because Solskjaer is great for the club. He’s nice.

“Could you imagine Roy Keane as manager at Old Trafford and the board saying we’re not going to buy anyone this year? He would go mad. He would kick up a stink and that is what a top manager would do.

“But with Solskjaer, I don’t see that happening. He’s happy to work with what he’s got. He’s grateful to be there.


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Solskjaer’s struggle

“This is Manchester United. For me, the top club in the world.

“Straight away, when you are playing a football match at one of the top clubs in the world, you kick off and everyone sits 10 behind the ball. That’s the way it works, and it has always worked like that and always will.

“But, if you look at United’s record, the only time they beat anyone is if teams have a go at them. If a team doesn’t have a go at them, they don’t beat anyone.

“How does that work? They are supposed to be one of the top teams in the country and if anyone sits 10 behind the ball against them, they struggle.

“It’s a real worry for United and something they need to ponder long and hard this summer.”

READ MORE: Transfer price made clear as Murtough signs off on Man Utd deal to land prime Solskjaer target

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