Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rant about fixture scheduling after his side’s 3-1 win at Everton yesterday sparked accusations of ‘siege mentality’ and ‘controlling the narrative’ by pundits and on social media.
The boss was angry that United were made to play on Saturday lunchtime having only played in Istanbul on Wednesday evening.
‘I think it’s such a serious issue that, in the times we’re in, we don’t look after these players,’ Solskjaer said.
‘They’re not robots, they’re human.
‘You can see towards the end we didn’t have the intensity in our game because of tired legs, tired minds.
‘In the second half, we were tired, you can see we went into survival mode – hanging onto the result.
‘What is the problem with us playing on a Sunday?
‘I didn’t want to speak about this before the game, but now I think it’s an important time to raise it. Look after the players. We’ve already had too many injuries in the Premier League; not just my players, other teams’ players. We need to think about them.’
Fans’ responses to Solskjaer’s outburst on social media were generally very positive and supportive. Comments included:
‘I loved that post-match interview from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The passion, the rage, the anger. We are Manchester United, it always will be us against the world!’
I loved that post-match interview from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The passion, the rage, the anger. We are Manchester United, it always will be us against the world!
— DILLINGER 👹 (@DillanMUFC) November 7, 2020
‘Ole Gunnar Solskjaer controlling the narrative in the post match interview with @btsportfootball like a real manager. Those will be the headlines tomorrow not whether he’s got a job. Sir Alex will be proud of you Ole.’
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer controlling the narrative in the post match interview with @btsportfootball like a real manager. Those will be the headlines tomorrow not whether he's got a job. Sir Alex will be proud of you Ole. #SiegeMentality #UTFR
— John Warrington (@1JohnWarrington) November 7, 2020
😡 You never see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this angry.
💪 Channelling his inner Sir Alex Ferguson.
🍿 A must watch!
— Sporting Life Football (@SportingLifeFC) November 8, 2020
However, speaking on BT Sport after hearing the interview, United legend Rio Ferdinand said that Solskjaer has ‘just got to get on with it’.
‘I understand his frustration because we used to moan. And you want the league to be lenient and give you a little bit of extra time but it wasn’t the case at times and you’ve just got to get on with it.
‘His frustration lies in players getting injured. But he’s controlled the narrative during that interview there.
‘He’s talked about what he’s wanted to talk about and that’s something that a lot of top managers have done in the past.
‘It’s taken away what was being spoken about before the match. But the result is the be all and end all. He got the result he needed.’
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