#OLEOUT |Has the tools but lacks the experience


Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a man under immense pressure and spoke of his players’ hungry mindset, of their determination to improve, of his sureness that, United “had something going,” and of his enduring belief in his coaching staff as well as his players.

Ole said that It felt a wearily familiar answer – the sort that these days, with this set of players, is more difficult to digest.

Highlights from Manchester United’s draw against Everton in the Premier League show laxity in the players with club legend Owen hagreaves claiming that so of the mistakes committed would cost some players game time for a month under legendary coach Alex Ferguson. Hagreaves was referring to Fred mistake

Solskjaer team selection against Everton had divided opinion, and while there could be no doubting that the midweek win over Villarreal courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo was draining, it was fair to think that Ronaldo – who has for a long time lived for moments rather than extensive exertions – could have gone again. It looked like he felt the same judging by his hasty exit down the tunnel.

The red devils had in fact made an urgent start, with Anthony Martial’s opener the climax to a sweeping crossfield move.

But the promise gave way to another disjointed display and the focus is sharply back on their structure out of possession. Solskjaer said they dominated, but 71 per cent of the ball still gave up 10 shots inside the box.

Manchester United look as vulnerable to the counter as they have at set-piece situations, and a longstanding issue is plain to see in the most simple of stats: they have not kept a clean sheet in 18 games.

Ole did his best to strike an upbeat tone but readily admitted that a “big month” awaits.

There is little escaping the fact that United side face Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal before the end of November, with important assignments ahead in the Champions League too.

Everton though – depleted yet individually revived and collectively coherent – were what United still are not: a unit seemingly sure of the gameplan and able to make the ample sum of their parts add up.

Ole appeared to welcome the break, adamant his side will return with “energy and clear focus”. But Butthe time must turn into something tangible. As he signed off himself at his press conference: “The proof is in the pudding.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here