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Saturday, November 27, 2021

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Ex Liverpool star slams Manchester United players amid defence of Solskjaer

Former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise has claimed the Manchester United players “don’t seem to care” as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hangs on to his job.

United headed into the international break on the back of a humbling derby defeat by Manchester City 2-0 at Old Trafford last Saturday.

It was the second successive home game in the league in which United were not only second-best at home to rivals, but witnessed fans boo players off the pitch at half-time and the final whistle after abject performances.

Riise’s former club travelled to Old Trafford at the end of last month and found themselves 4-0 up inside 45 minutes, winning 5-0 in the end.

And although United beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 and drew 2-2 with Atalanta between the two defeats, the manner in which Solskjaer’s side performance against two of their biggest rivals has led to increased speculation the Norwegian could be out of a job sooner rather than later.

However, Solskjaer’s fellow countryman Riise pointed out that the blame does not lie entirely at the manager’s door and that the players on the pitch look to have given up.

“I do feel for him, as a person, of course, but he’s stepped into one of the biggest jobs in the world,” Riise told talkSPORT.

“And when things are not going well, like they are now, it’s so easy to learn and manage it but, at the same time, I’ve watched the last three or four games of Man Utd and the attitude from the players – you can’t always blame the manager for everything.

“Look at the aggression, the tightness, the willingness to fight for the club – it’s not there from the players, and that annoys me because like, myself, I was not the most technical player, but at least I gave 110%, no matter how I was playing.

“Look at the Man United players now, they don’t seem to care.”

Riise has also demanded that the United players must remain professional when representing the club.

He added: “Maybe the players are not happy with how training is going, how they play tactically in training what Solskjaer is doing before the games.

“But, at the end of the day, they get paid a lot of money to do the job and to support the manager and to play for the fans.”

Ajax’s Erik Ten Hag, Leicester City’s Brendan Rodgers and Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino have all been linked to the Old Trafford dugout, though the Manchester Evening News understands that Solskjaer’s position remains safe for now and he will lead the team against Watford on November 20.

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