Home » Revealed: The extent of dressing room unrest under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Man United

Revealed: The extent of dressing room unrest under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Man United

by Red Billy

The extent of dressing room unrest under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s management of Manchester United has been revealed in a new article.

Solskjaer was sacked by the United board today after three years at the helm and recent performances have been so dire that it is a surprise the decision didn’t come sooner.

Due to his affable personality, it would perhaps be unfair to say that Solskjaer ‘lost the dressing room’ in the way that perhaps Louis van Gaal and José Mourinho did, but The MEN’s Samuel Luckhurst cites numerous examples of player disgruntlement that contributed toward a fractured and demoralised squad dynamic.

‘Solskjaer was allowed to continue to manage a dressing room that had become unmanageable,’ Luckhurst says.

‘The majority of players liked Solskjaer but had long since concluded he was no longer up to the job.

‘Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, was reassured action was underway. Ronaldo had quickly concluded United would not succeed as long as Solskjaer was manager but implored teammates to remain professional and respect Solskjaer. His representative was doing anything but.’

One of the few success stories of this season, the form of goalkeeper David de Gea, is said to have come about through luck:

‘Multiple dressing room sources say Solskjaer’s handling of David de Gea became a ‘big problem’ during the 2020-21 campaign and it was only Dean Henderson‘s bout of Covid-19 in July that allowed De Gea to regain his number one status and form.’

In other words, De Gea’s renaissance was despite, rather than because of, Solskjaer’s decision-making.

Luckhurst also claims that Solskjaer’s appointment of Harry Maguire as club captain rubbed some of his teammates up the wrong way, as did his sticking by the former Leicester man despite a run of woeful form.

‘Some players resented Harry Maguire‘s premature promotion to captain,’ the reporter states.

‘A player questioned why he was swiftly discarded yet Maguire and Fred were often retained despite under-performing. Even a player’s father accepted his son had been ‘c–p’ for weeks.’

Solskjaer’s refusal to select Donny van de Beek has often been reported to have upset teammates as well as the player himself, but his overlooking of Jesse Lingard, of whom he had appeared to be a huge fan, is in some senses even more curious.

‘Lingard is another academy graduate who had a warm rapport with Solskjaer but was baffled by his lack of playing time,’ Luckhurst notes.

‘In the negotiations for Lingard’s loan transfer to West Ham, United tried to limit Lingard’s representative’s commission, oblivious to the fact he was related to Pogba.’

The report cites other players’ unhappiness as well.

Axel Tuanzebe felt he lacked support from the coaching staff after demoralising displays against Istanbul Basaksehir and Sheffield United.

‘Brandon Williams was unhappy he was not loaned out in January.

‘Diogo Dalot wondered why Aaron Wan-Bissaka kept starting.’

Other players, such as Eric Bailly and Alex Telles, have also been reported to have problems with their lack of playing time.

The picture painted by the reporter is one of Solskjaer as almost a loveable buffoon, who was completely out of his depth. Luckhurst compares the Norwegian to Mike Basset, the spoof manager played by Ricky Tomlinson in a 2001 movie.

‘Solskjaer’s authority eroded before the downward spiral when some questioned the illogical and incongruous inclusion of Daniel James in the starting XI at Wolves two days before he was sold to Leeds,’ the article continues.

‘Some players speculated whether Solskjaer had followed orders to play James just to increase his resale value.’

All in all, it is a miserable picture and one that begs the question of why something was not done earlier to rectify the situation. As many have noted, it also begs the question as to what is the purpose of the director of football, John Murtough, if he was not able to oversee and resolve these issues and/or if he does not have the authority to have sacked Solskjaer and/or select a replacement.

The fact is that every single football decision at United needs to be fed up to American tycoon Joel Glazer, who has no football knowledge but as controlling shareholder insists on micro-managing everything. As long as this remains the case, it is hard to see a change in the dugout really resolving the core issues at Old Trafford.

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