Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a late change just before kick-off vs. Tottenham to alter Luke Shaw’s position.
In a game that was said to be a make or break task for the manager, the Norwegian found himself very lucky with a late fitness test boost ahead of kick-off.
The results previous to the Spurs match was very disappointing for many fans, who witnessed a 5-0 defeat at home to Liverpool and the conceding of two goals at home to Atalanta before United came back in the second half to win 3-2.
It was a difficult time for the boss who claimed it was his worse moment since becoming manager of Man United.
The officials at the club had been very vocal in their backing for Solskjaer but had reached a stage when even that was in question – after four games without a win in the league.
Approaching the match in North London, the squad trained with Luke Shaw at left centre-back and Alex Telles operating at left wing-back.
However, through the Express, The Athletic is reporting that because of a late fitness test that came back all clear, Raphael Varane was given the nod to start as the middle of the back three after a short time out with injury.
This meant that Shaw became the left wing-back and Telles didn’t even make the bench.
A lot of questions went around on social media after the Portuguese defender posted on Instagram a message on matchday which hinted that he will be starting later that evening.
The message contained the caption “Good things come to those who work for it“ with emojis after which represented lips are sealed and a football next to it.
Then later that day, the lineup was announced and it was a bit of a shock to see that Telles didn’t even make the bench.
United fans must be wondering why he was dropped after scoring a sensational rocket vs. Villarreal a few weeks prior.
The 28-year-old hasn’t featured for the club since then and many will be wondering was Varane worth the risk beforehand.
However, the late change didn’t have a negative impact on the result as the Red Devils won 3-0.
It remains to be seen whether there are any more implications after the late change, for example, whether Telles now feels exiled from the squad after starting the season better than some of United’s defenders.
Luckily for Solskjaer, no injuries occurred in the backline but it was a risky move considering Harry Maguire’s errors when he returned to the starting lineup.
Other fans will be looking at Eric Bailly, who could have easily slotted into the back three but it seems the Ivorian has become completely mistrusted by Solskjaer, despite heavily featuring on the bench and being fully fit.