Manchester United’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur saw them pick up their first points in the Premier League under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian has set out his intention to “give everybody a chance” but former Red Devils defender Micah Richards is adamant that the players are all very different personalities and it was just as much down to coaching.
Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are a team of individuals according to Micah Richards. The defender says that the team is not just about one player, but rather everyone’s contribution.
Manchester United is in seventh place in the Premier League after nine games, eight points behind leaders Chelsea.
Micah Richards, an ex-England defender, believes Manchester United should “go back to fundamentals” before deciding whether to support or remove manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Richards remarked on Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club, “It’s a team of people, not a collective.”
“Instead of performing the fundamentals of football, like sprinting and tackling, they all want to be the star.”
Solskjaer, who scored the game-winning goal in United’s 1999 Champions League final victory against Bayern Munich, has been in charge of the club since December 2018, but has yet to win a trophy.
Last season, they finished second in the Premier League and added French World Cup-winning defender Raphael Varane, England forward Jadon Sancho, and re-signed five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
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“What is your style of play if you bring in Ronaldo?” Richards, who won the Premier League with Manchester City in 2011-12, was asked this question.
“Ronaldo is available, so you think ‘grab him,’ but you also have to squeeze in [Bruno] Fernandes, [Paul] Pogba, Sancho, [Marcus] Rashford, and [Mason] Greenwood, so where is the balance?”
“If that’s what you want to do, get some people in behind Ronaldo to perform his task. Solskjaer said that they would play on the front foot, but you would be picked off by Liverpool, exactly as they were.
“Return to a defensive formation with two defensive midfielders, full-backs tucked in, and counter-attack. United aren’t as good as Manchester City, Liverpool, or Chelsea, so defend deep and focus on your strengths; they need to go back to fundamentals.”
As a player, Solskjaer helped United win the Premier League six times, and Richards confessed he sympathized with the under-fire Norwegian, who has received demands to resign.
“It was always going to be tough when things came to this because he has such a legendary standing at the club,” Richards continued.
“It had to be due to the coaching, and some of the blunders were absurd.” They don’t know whether to push or when to dive, and Ole seems to be at a loss for what to do.
“They need to stand behind him and say he’ll either stay until the conclusion of the season or bring in someone else.”
“Looking at someone with such a legendary status but who seems to be a little out of his depth makes me feel terrible for him. They must go on if this cannot be addressed.”
Solskjaer’s position has been retained due of his playing record, according to Chris Sutton, a Premier League champion with Blackburn.
“They’re the greatest club in the world,” Sutton remarked, “but what occurred over the weekend was humiliating.”
“What is Manchester United’s identity? In a season when expectations have risen, the performances haven’t been up to par. If they were in Ole’s shoes, [David] Moyes, [Louis] van Gaal, and [Jose] Mourinho would have all been fired.”
Karen Carney, a former England midfielder, said Liverpool were not even close to their best against United on Sunday.
“There was such a chasm in class,” she said, “and United couldn’t get out of their own side.” “I’d never seen such a huge chasm, and Liverpool was in third gear.”
“He would have left if Jose Mourinho had been in charge. You don’t lose to your competitors in this manner.”
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