MX23RW : Saturday, June 19 16:35:12| >> :120:9097:9097:
May 26, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stadion Energa Gdańsk
VillarrealVillarreal
1-1
Man UtdManchester United
Moreno (29')
Capoue (54'), Foyth (84')
FT
(aet)
Cavani (55')
Bailly (82'), Cavani (113')
Villarreal win 11-10 on penalties

Paul Merson slams "embarrassing" Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tactics

Paul Merson slams
© Reuters
Television pundit Paul Merson slams Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his "embarrassing" tactics deployed in the Europa League final.

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has slammed Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following the Red Devils' defeat in the Europa League final.

Villarreal defeated Man United 11-10 on penalties this week to win their first Europa League trophy, with goalkeeper David De Gea missing the all-important spot kick in Gdansk.

That defeat means that a first trophy as manager of the Manchester club still eludes Solskjaer, and former Arsenal man Merson did not hold back on his criticism of the Man United boss.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Merson said: "Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got embarrassed really. Villarreal made the five substitutions and it was really clever from Unai Emery.

"They had the fresher legs in extra time and they didn't really look like losing. They looked the better team and Solskjaer just didn't react. He just didn't change it up and they paid the price in the end. It just all seems too friendly to me. It seems like he didn't want to upset anyone.

"Marcus Rashford just had one of those games. Sooner or later, as a manager, you've got to realise it is just one of those games for him and that it just wasn't happening. Everything he tried just didn't come off. I can't remember him doing anything in the game that was any good. Looking on, it looks like Solskjaer didn't want to bring him off in case it upset him."

Merson went on to explain that he does not believe Solskjaer will be able to stand up to the Glazer family and ask for support to strengthen his squad this summer: "It's a hard one because Solskjaer is great for the club. He's nice. Could you imagine Roy Keane as manager at Old Trafford and the board saying we're not going to buy anyone this year? He would go mad.

"He would kick up a stink and that is what a top manager would do. But with Solskjaer, I don't see that happening. He's happy to work with what he's got. He's grateful to be there.

"This is Manchester United. For me, the top club in the world. It's a real worry for United and something they need to ponder long and hard this summer.

"Personally, I don't think two to three players is enough. It's going to take much more than that to get them winning silverware because I just don't think they are as close as people say. I think they flatter to deceive."

Solskjaer is believed to be set for a new contract at Old Trafford, with his current deal due to expire at the end of next season.

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on May 6, 2021
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