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Man Utd players stunned by ‘unexpected’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decision as crisis goes on – Daily Express

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Manchester United players are reportedly surprised at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to give the squad a week off. The Red Devils have endured a torrid campaign so far, with Saturday’s defeat to Manchester City another low point. But, while that’s the case, the Norwegian is still expected to keep his job at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer was given a three-year contract by United back in the summer after steadying the ship following the doom and gloom of the Jose Mourinho era.

But the Norwegian has failed to get his squad firing this term, with the Red Devils stuck in a rut.

United’s season stooped to a new low on Saturday when they were played off the pitch by Manchester City, just weeks after they fell to a 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool.

And the Daily Mail say players are surprised at Solskjaer’s ‘unexpected’ decision to give the squad a week off.

The majority of those not on international duty have been given some time to recharge the batteries.

Yet while Raphael Varane and Marcus Rashford will do some work at Carrington, United players are still surprised by Solskjaer’s call.

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Man Utd players have been stunned by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to give them time off (Image: GETTY)

The 48-year-old was seen flying off to Norway on Monday.

But there’s no signs he’ll be sacked yet, with Solskjaer expected to stay in charge for their match with Watford after the international break.

United have lost six of their last 12 matches.

And the defeat to City on Saturday means they’re nine points behind Chelsea at the top of the table.

United’s current stance on Solskjaer is down to a lack of alternatives, though they do admire a number of different managers.

Mauricio Pochettino has long been admired at Old Trafford, with interest dating back to his days at Southampton.

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Man Utd gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a new contract back in the summer (Image: GETTY)

But with the Argentine working at Paris Saint-Germain, appointing him will be far from straightforward.

United also like Brendan Rodgers.

But they know appointing the Northern-Irishman won’t be easy, either, due to the fact he’s tied to Leicester.

Ralf Rangnick is another under consideration, albeit on an interim basis.

Yet United previously rejected the 63-year-old due to fears he’d be difficult to work with.

So, for now, United are stuck with Solskjaer.

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been powerless to prevent alarming Premier League form (Image: GETTY)

But the writing does appear to be on the wall for the Norwegian, especially with former team-mate Rio Ferdinand calling for him to go.

“He’s done actually what he’s been brought in to do,” Ferdinand told his FIVE YouTube channel.

“He’s come in and given the fans hope again, made the fans want to come back and watch your team again.

“He’s done that. He has done a great job in that sense. But is he going to take us to win titles? Is he going to make us challenge to win a Champions League?

“You need the foundations that have been built to fall back on when you are lacking that confidence.

“When you’re thinking a five, a 10-yard ball that is normally easy becomes a difficult ball – the foundations get you through that. We (United) ain’t got that.

Man Utd board admire Mauricio Pochettino and Brendan Rodgers amid Ole Gunnar Solskjaer woes (Image: GETTY)

“The football club will be living here and breathing here longer than any individual. It’s what’s best for this football club.

“I just feel that maybe it might be time now for the baton to be handed over.

“Who can take us on now? And I think Ole would leave now with his head held high.”

Ferdinand also blamed United players for their current slump.

“I don’t see a philosophy, I don’t see an identity,” he added. “When I go and watch my team, if they get beaten, that’s fine. It happens.

“But I want to see what they are about. What are you?

“Players aren’t sprinting out and hurting themselves in games. I see that as a disrespect to the manager and almost like, ‘I don’t fear [Solskjaer]’.”

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