Pundit questions Solskjaer team selection after Man Utd semi-final defeat

Date published: Monday 20th July 2020 6:58 - Sam Charlton

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd TEAMtalk

Paul Merson has questioned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision not to play his strongest team in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat. 

The Red Devils were beaten 3-1 by Chelsea at Wembley, ending their hopes of cup glory.

While Frank Lampard opted to field his strongest eleven, Solskjaer made a number of changes to his in-form side.

Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood were all benched, with United’s crucial final league fixtures in mind. Currently fifth in the league, they could move into the top four with a win over West Ham on Wednesday.

Despite Champions League qualification clearly being prioritised, Merson has asked why Solskjaer wouldn’t target silverware instead.

In his Sky Sports column, Merson said: “Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to win something! If he wins the FA Cup it’s massive for him! There are only a few trophies he can win in a season!

“This is on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He’s not going to be manager at Manchester United for the next 15 years, is he? Sooner or later when he goes on a bad run he’s going to be out of a job.

“That’s football now. When you lose games, you’re out. If he loses his job and he has an FA Cup, he has an unbelievable CV!


“If Mourinho was in Man Utd’s position yesterday, knowing he has Arsenal in the final, he plays his strongest possible team.

“At the end of his career, Mourinho can say: “I won this, this, this, this, this, this and this. Oh, and this and this.” There won’t be an asterisks next to one FA Cup which says: “Oh, that year we finished fifth instead of fourth.” It’s all about trophies!

“I was flabbergasted at his team selection. I couldn’t believe it.”

Solskjaer could still finish the campaign with a trophy, with United still in the Europa League.

They are 5-0 up after their first leg meeting with LASK, and will finally complete the tie on Wednesday 5th August.

Should, as expected, they progress, the Red Devils will move into the quarter-finals and are favourites to go on and win the competition.

READ MORE: Former Man Utd ‘keeper Mark Bosnich has spoken out about David de Gea’s poor form.


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