Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that some Manchester United players would play more than 45 minutes against Inter Milan on Saturday.
As per tradition in pre-season, Solskjaer used the opening two tour matches against Perth Glory and Leeds United to field two completely different starting XIs for either half.
This is geared towards optimising the general fitness levels of the group, but with only three weeks until United meet Chelsea at Old Trafford, Solskjaer will start to have to make decisions.
Ole: “We’ll give players, some 45, some 60-70. It’s another stepping stone. We’re not planning to swap all eleven this time.” #mufc
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) July 19, 2019
The good thing is that both Solskjaer and his players have a clear idea of the attacking blueprint being fleshed out on the training ground by Mike Phelan, Kieran McKenna and Michael Carrick. This was not the case during that miserable pre-season tour of last year under Jose Mourinho, who genuinely seemed so angry to the point of not caring about tactics at that stage.
Under Solskjaer, the demands are clear, which should make selecting players clear – ones who fit the principles of Ole-ball: a fluid 4-2-3-1, full-backs providing width, high pressing and fast counter-attacking play down the middle with Paul Pogba as the final difference, midfielders like Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard joining attackers in the box.
In this sense, Solskjaer has to be ruthless. Those who he believes in must receive a large majority of the minutes on offer ahead of Chelsea on August 11.