Dimitar Berbatov admits ‘it’s hard to blame’ Manchester United if they have approached Mauricio Pochettino to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but former Red Devils striker says the players are as much to blame
- Reports say Man United have made contract with Mauricio Pochettino’s people
- It comes with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under intense pressure after poor results
- Saturday’s visit to Everton has become absolutely crucial with United in 15th
- They were shambolic defensively in a shock 2-1 loss to Istanbul Basaksehir
- Ex-Tottenham boss Pochettino is bookmakers’ favourite to replace Solskjaer
Former striker Dimitar Berbatov says ‘it’s hard to blame’ Manchester United for considering Mauricio Pochettino to be their next manager as the pressure grows on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Solskjaer is under intense pressure following back-to-back defeats by Arsenal in the Premier League and Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League and he now leads the bookmakers’ sack race.
And according to the Manchester Evening News, United have contacted Pochettino’s representatives. It has been reported previously that Pochettino is keen to manage United at some point and that stance is not believed to have changed.
Dimitar Berbatov (pictured with legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford) says Manchester United are justified in considering Mauricio Pochettino
Berbatov says United are justified in their pursuit of Pochettino given their poor start to the season but he also believes the players are as much to blame.
He told Betfair: ‘If there’s truth to the Mauricio Pochettino rumours, it’s hard to blame United really.
‘When the team plays bad, the buck stops with the boss, and this has always been true.
‘I saw him recently as a guest commentator, and he said he is ready to work again, so it’s hard to stop those rumours. The one thing that won’t change, however, are the players. A new boss won’t change how they play.
Pochettino, who appeared on Sky’s Monday Night Football this week, is the clear favourite with the bookies to replace Solskjaer as United’s manager
‘Yes, when you have a new manager you can see a bounce, but overall the attitude remains the same. No aggression, no passion, no holding each other to account.
‘The players need to change their attitude as much as the manager needs to be changed.’
The move comes despite United insiders privately backing Solskjaer prior to Wednesday night’s defeat and a reluctance within the club to sack him so early in the season.
Saturday’s visit to Everton has become crucial for Solskjaer as United could end the weekend sitting 17th in the Premier League table if they lose at Goodison Park.
Manchester United are reported to have approached Mauricio Pochettino with a view to him replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their manager following a dismal start to the season
It follows an inconsistent start to the season that has included a 6-1 humiliation at the hands of Tottenham but Champions League wins over Paris Saint-Germain and Leipzig.
They are 15th in the Premier League table having lost three of their opening six matches.
United insist Solskjaer still has their backing and no approach has been made for Pochettino to replace him.
Pochettino, the former Southampton and Tottenham manager, is the bookmakers’ odds-on favourite to be the next United boss.
Solskjaer cut a glum figure as United slumped to an embarrassing defeat at Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League on Wednesday night
The trip to Everton is United’s last fixture before a two-week international break that has become synonymous with managerial sackings.
Solskjaer dismissed speculation over his future in the wake of the defeat in Istanbul, which saw some horrendous defending for Basaksehir’s first goal.
‘I decline to comment on such a thing,’ said Solskjaer.
‘Of course it’s early on and opinions are out there all the time and you’ve got to stay strong.
‘I’m employed by the club to do a job and I do that to the best of my ability with our staff.’
Pochettino has been on United’s managerial shortlists in the past and made it clear during an appearance on Sky’s Monday Night Football this week that he is ready for a new challenge.
It will fall on United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and the club hierarchy to decide Solskjaer’s future
‘I am always ready to be involved in the game again. I love football. It’s my passion, not my job.
‘I am looking forward to being involved in the game again, I love the game. It’s difficult; we are inside, we are working, we are doing things but it is not the same thing to be involved every day, to share it with your players, your staff and your club. You miss that.’
United would not have to pay Pochettino’s former club Tottenham any form of compensation as the deadline passed in May. The 48-year-old left Spurs after five-and-a-half years last November to be replaced by former United boss Jose Mourinho.
Having also managed Southampton prior to that, Pochettino has extensive knowledge of English football.
He hasn’t won any silverware during his time in England though he did lead Tottenham to the Champions League final in 2019.
Manchester United players reflect during a miserable performance on Wednesday night
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