Solskjaer cites own career with warning to Man Utd star visibly frustrated

Date published: Friday 1st October 2021 4:22 - Steve Pearson

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Man Utd, May 2021

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer referred to his own career when stressing what Man Utd can do without after a star’s frustration boiled over in midweek.

On Wednesday night, Man Utd snatched a last-gasp victory over Villarreal to get their Champions League campaign back on track. Cristiano Ronaldo did what he does best when finding the back of the net when his side needed it most.

However, another story emerged from the contest. Dutch midfielder Donny Van de Beek was left visibly frustrated after being overlooked once again.

When Solskjaer confirmed Jesse Lingard as his final substitute against Villarreal, the Dutchman threw off his warm-up strip. He also threw his chewing gum into the dugout, towards where Solskjaer and Lingard were standing.

It was the latest in a long line of disappointments for the 24-year-old whose Old Trafford career is yet to take off. What’s more, a recent report suggested the prospect of a January exit is now more likely than ever.

Now, speaking in his Friday press conference, Solskjaer admitted he understood Van de Beek’s anguish. However, he referred to his own career – in which Solskjaer was often deployed as an impact sub – to make the point that a bench role should not be viewed with disdain.

“I manage a squad full of international footballers,” said Solskjaer (via Sky Sports). “Competitive footballers who want to make a difference, want to play. They all want to be on the pitch, of course they do.

“Donny was ready to come on [against Villarreal], as all the players should be. I’ve probably been a substitute more than anyone in this club and you have to be ready all the time.

“I’ve not been very happy a few times, but that’s just a decision the manager makes. Alex (Telles) was coming off as a left-back and Fred did that job well, so I understand the frustration.

“Every player is keen to play. That’s got to be built into energy and some determination for when you get on and then show me. That is not just Donny, that is all the players.”


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Man Utd can’t have “sulkers” – Solskjaer

Solskjaer went on to state Man Utd can’t have any “sulkers” within their dressing room. And while he admitted Van de Beek did not fall into that category, his message served as a warning to any Red Devil who comes out on the wrong side of his selection decisions.

“If we’re going to be successful together, we know that we need a positive energy,” the Norwegian added.

“We can’t have any sulkers, but Donny has never affected his team-mates negatively.

“As soon as I see players affecting the team negatively that’s a different scenario and I’ll probably be a little bit firmer.”

READ MORE: ‘Wow’ – Solskjaer in disbelief at Ronaldo story as Man Utd issue with ‘no common sense’ slammed

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