REVEALED: How Manchester United players turned on Solskjaer… Eric Bailly ‘asked him why “not fit” Maguire was playing, Ronaldo felt his team-mates wanted it “too easy” and others challenged the manager over Van De Beek, Lingard and Matic’
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been sacked as manager of Manchester United
- Many believed he had lost dressing room before Saturday’s defeat at Watford
- But now reports have revealed the extent of disillusionment within United squad
- Eric Bailly and Cristiano Ronaldo were among those to express their concerns
- Others questioned omission of midfielders Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard
- LIVE: Follow all the latest from Old Trafford after Solskjaer’s sacking by United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking at Manchester United had appeared to lose the dressing room several weeks before his eventual sacking, but the state of his players’ disillusionment has now been revealed.
Many believed some players had downed tools well before he was dismissed after three years in charge on Sunday, fewer than 24 hours after their humiliating 4-1 defeat by Watford.
But The Telegraph have now reported on the extent to which some members of the United squad were disappointed with the Norwegian, who will for the time being be succeeded by caretaker boss Michael Carrick.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been sacked by Manchester United after three years in charge
The Telegraph have now revealed the extent of the disillusionment of some of his squad
The report claims centre-back Eric Bailly asked Solskjaer why he had picked a centre-half ‘who was not fit’ in their Premier League defeat by Leicester last month.
The Ivory Coast international was left out for captain Harry Maguire at the King Power Stadium, having only returned to full training following a calf injury the day prior to their 4-2 defeat in the East Midlands.
Summer signing Cristiano Ronaldo has already shown his frustration publicly since returning to Old Trafford from Juventus, having stormed off the pitch following their draw at Old Trafford against Everton, a game which he did not start.
The Portugal international has also been left alarmed by the drop in standards at Old Trafford since his return, but the report now claims he feels some of his team-mates want it ‘too easy’.
Eric Bailly (right) questioned Solskjaer why he was not selected ahead of Harry Maguire who ‘was not fit’
Maguire played in the 4-2 defeat against the Foxes having just returned from a calf injury
Meanwhile, the report adds other members of the squad challenged the 48-year-old amid his continued omission of midfielders Donny van de Beek, Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic.
The report claims Solskjaer was always well liked by the squad but the perceived ‘favouritism’ shown towards some players deemed to be underperforming began to erode away at patience and heighten tensions.
Dutchman van de Beek scored the final goal of the Solskjaer era at Vicarage Road but has started just four of his 22 top-flight appearances for the club since joining from Ajax in a £40million deal in the summer of 2020.
The midfielder has therefore been starved of game time and led Paul Ince earlier this month to claim Solskjaer was ‘taking the p*** out of him.’
Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly feels some of his United team-mates want it ‘too easy’
Others challenged Solskjaer over the continued exclusion of players like Donny van de Beek
England international Lingard meanwhile scored nine Premier League goals in the second half of last season on loan at West Ham, but has not started any of his six top-flight matches since returning to Old Trafford.
Lingard may have hinted at a possible desire to return to the London Stadium amid his lack of game time, reposting a video of him scoring a goal for the Hammers on his Instagram story.
But Lingard’s latest social media post preceded emerging reports that the 28-year-old could leave for just £10m in the January transfer window and that he is already ‘making personal arrangements’ for a return to east London having abandoned talks over a new deal at United.
Left-back Alex Telles – another outcast – also hinted at possible frustration on social media at the end of last month, posting a photo of himself with the cryptic Instagram caption: ‘Good things come to those who work’, followed by a gagged emoji sign.
Matic, 33, a regular fixture in United’s midfielder over recent seasons, has also completed 90 minutes just twice in the Premier League during the current campaign.
Jesse Lingard has yet to start a Premier League game this term after a stellar loan spell at West Ham last season
Nemanja Matic has also completed 90 minutes just twice in the Premier League this term
Solskjaer was axed after losing five of his last seven Premier League matches and seven of his last 13 games across all competitions.
Carrick has taken temporary charge but United will seek an interim replacement to take over until the end of the season.
Brendan Rodgers, Zinedine Zidane, Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag have all been touted as potential replacements.
A club statement read: ‘Manchester United announces that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left his role as manager. Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we havereached this difficult decision.
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‘While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.
‘Ole leaves with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts as manager and our very best wishes for the future.
‘His place in the club’s history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a manager who gave us many great moments. He will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family.’
Solskjaer leaves Old Trafford having failed to end the club’s wait for a first trophy since the 2017 Europa League, though his side reached the final of that competition in May while also finishing runners-up to Manchester City in the league in 2020-21.
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