Solskjaer fuming with England boss Southgate over Greenwood

Date published: Friday 18th September 2020 10:56

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer TEAMtalk

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed his fury at England’s decision to call-up and Mason Greenwood and put the youngster in front of the media.

Gareth Southgate gave the 18-year-old his first England call-up last month for the Nations League games with Iceland and Denmark.

The England boss then immediately put the United man in front of the international press.

Southgate handed Greenwood his first cap against Iceland with the United forward a second-half sub in the 1-0 win.

However, Greenwood then breached the Three Lions’ strict bio bubble in Iceland and was sent home.

And the United boss has questioned Southgate’s decision to call him up.

“Yeah, of course I speak to Mason and I’ve spoken to Mason,” Solskjaer said. “Of course what we speak about and discuss will be between the two of us.

“The kid had a fantastic season. He’s just come through.

“I’ve worked and the club have worked and all the staff here worked really hard to… when we gave Mason enough time on the pitch, when we gave him exposure in the media. Then you come to the end of the season and we’ve had less than two weeks off and he’s called up to the national team.

“I have to be honest enough to say I tried my best to give him a rest over the summer. That the club we asked specifically and pointed out that he should have had a rest.

“He needs it mentally and physically after that season he had. First thing that happens is 1) he’s called up, and 2) he’s right there in the press.

“We’ve done whatever we can to protect him and I will keep on helping him. I know that when he comes back into the daily routine of the club and what we do to him, he’ll be fine.”

Asked if Greenwood is available for Saturday’s season opener against Crystal Palace, Solskjaer said: “Yeah, he’s part of the group.

“With the testing and Covid protocols, he trained by himself for a little while. We had some tests done and as soon as possible he was with us. He’s a big part of this group.

“This is where he feels at home. He’s not comfortable, we challenge him, we’ve got people looking after him.

“We’ve had a plan with him throughout the season and I think it worked really well. But he needed a rest. I look at the interview he did for the FA, the first national team game, he’s talking about maybe looking back at this season when it’s over – and that’s actually on the first day of his new season.

“So we have to understand he’s an 18-year-old kid who needs managing.”



Maguire latest

Greenwood’s indiscretion came towards the end of an international break that started with Harry Maguire being dropped from the England squad just hours after being selected.

The defender was handed a suspended 21-month sentence after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer, swearing, resisting arrest and bribery during an incident in Mykonos, but he denies the offences and has launched an appeal with the Greek courts.

“The process will keep on going,” Solskjaer said. “Knowing Harry, he’s a very strong character so hopefully he can put that apart.

“But, naturally, as a human being it will be in the back of his mind what’s happened this summer, and apart from that you’ve just got to see how it develops with Harry.

Harry Maguire

“Personally, I think he will be able to focus on his football but then again who am I to … you can’t predict how people will react.

“But so far he’s trained well, he’s been focused, so hopefully that process will just go on and, of course, we know it’s something that will go on in the legal department over there.”

Meanwhile, Solskjaer confirmed Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw are both back in contention to feature this weekend against Crystal Palace.

The United boss also refused to reveal who would be in goal against Palace.

“I can’t, I’m not gonna tell you the team today but the training, goalkeeper training has been fantastic to watch, so enjoyable, highest possible quality you can imagine,” said Solskjaer.

READ MORE: Solskjaer offers little transfer hope but explains why he deserves more faith

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