Michael Owen slams Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for ‘ridiculous’ defensive tactics

Michael Owen has criticised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for attempting to protect weak links in Manchester United’s team by selecting more players in defence.

Man United were again comfortably beaten yesterday, as local rivals Manchester City claimed a 2-0 win against Solskjaer’s side at Old Trafford.

While the margin of defeat was nowhere near as bad as the 5-0 capitulation to Liverpool a couple of weeks ago, the performance from United wasn’t much better, which has opened up Solskjaer to plenty of criticism.

Owen was speaking on DAZN and argued that Solskjaer should be attempting to weed out his weaker players rather than attempting to protect them by changing his tactics.

Michael Owen on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tactics.

“If things go wrong and you concede five against Liverpool you don’t think the defence is rubbish let’s go and put one more player in there. It’s ridiculous,” Owen argued.

“I go back to what Jurgen Klopp did at Liverpool and he’s the best exponent at it he came in and said this is how we’ll play, our full-backs will bomb forward, we are going to have a sitting midfield and play three up front. It weeds out the weak. The poor players get weeded out because they get exposed in a formation.

“All Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does, as soon as there is a weak player he covers for him and puts even more defenders in and in the meantime you’re buying hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of players.

“Don’t do that, weed out the weak, if you’re not good enough get someone else. All they are doing at the moment is covering for weaknesses and looking at the next week and thinking good teams play loads of defenders.

“It’s rubbish, that’s not how you go about things. You need a long-term plan. Weed out the rubbish if that’s the case but you have to go through a bit of pain on the way. If their target is to win the league then that’s how they’ve got to do it.”

Man United’s manager is under massive pressure.

Solskjaer managed to stay in his position after United’s 5-0 loss to Liverpool, but things haven’t improved much since then. The Red Devils notched a positive 3-0 win against Tottenham the following week, but they have gone backwards in their last two matches.

A late, brilliant Cristiano Ronaldo goal was all that saved United from a loss to Atalanta in a poor performance during the week, but there was no individual brilliance to be found against City on Saturday.

There have been no indications as of yet to whether Solskjaer’s position is once again being considered by United’s board, but there is a growing sense of impatience with the Norwegian manager among the club’s supporters.

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