Solskjaer in dig at Leeds fans.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has aimed a dig at Leeds United fans after they taunted Jadon Sancho for missing one of England’s penalties in the Euro 2020 Final.
Leeds lost 5-1 to Manchester United in their opening Premier League match at Old Trafford last Saturday and during the game, the away fans chanted “you let your country down” at the home side’s new £73 million signing.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doubts other fans will behave like Leeds.
Sancho and his new Man United teammate Marcus Rashford both missed penalties in England’s shootout defeat to Italy in July, as did Bukayo Saka of Arsenal.
All three have faced online abuse since that night and with fans now back attending matches, the vitriol has seemingly made its way into Premier League stadia.
Man United boss Solskjaer, however, doesn’t feel it will be a regular occurrence, telling journalists that most supporters won’t behave the way Leeds fans did last week.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer vows to protect Sancho.
“I don’t expect that to happen with too many fans,” Solskjaer said. “More of them are more respectful and support their country more.”
The Norwegian also vowed to protect both Sancho and Rashford in the same way that Alex Ferguson did with David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo after high-profile World Cup incidents involving the ex-United players.
Beckham was sent off against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup and was largely blamed for England’s exit by fans up and down the country.
Eight years later, Ronaldo faced similar abuse after he was seen to have been involved in getting Wayne Rooney sent off as Portugal knocked England out of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
“The trait of a Man United player.”
“We, as a club, know sometimes you have to be strong and the way the manager dealt with Becks was right,” Solskjaer added. “We’ll protect them, I’ll protect them and it’s absolutely no issue. You see some other clubs fans show support to the players who have been brave enough to step up for their country.
“When you go away, say Cristiano and Becks, when the away fans boo you it’s not just because you’ve done something wrong but because they’re afraid of you. Becks dealt with it in his own way, ‘I’ll show you, I’m a strong character, I’ll prove how good I am.’ ”
“And that is the trait of a Man United player, to go through difficult times, but still knowing your teammates have got your back.”
Both Beckham and Ronaldo went on to play pivotal roles in securing the Premier League title for Man United in the seasons following their respective incidents and Solskjaer will hope that Sancho and Rashford will find the same motivation.
Rashford is currently out of action after undergoing shoulder surgery but Sancho is in line to make his first Premier League start for the Red Devils today as they visit Southampton.