Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has survived everything in the previous two weeks. He shone with happiness after the comeback against Atalanta at Old Trafford, then experienced a catastrophe against Liverpool, only to be saved by a victory against the equally critical Tottenham.
Now he is visiting Atalanta again, which is eager for revenge and is chasing a victory that would turn the situation in the group and complicate the life of the Red Devils. Solskjear has survived a wave of criticism for who knows how many times since he sat on the United bench.
Among the critics were some of his former teammates, such as Paul Scholes, who today works as a professional consultant on television. "Criticism can shake you to doubt yourself, or you can be firm and stand up straight.
I have always enjoyed these situations. We all deal with different jobs and it is their job to express their opinion." "I'm not here to argue with anyone. It's all right. Journalists, analysts, experts… We all do our job ", Solskjaer said before the match with Atalanta.
The Norwegian is criticized for not using some players who came with great quality and as great reinforcements. Donnie van de Beek has not stepped on the field for a long time, Paul Pogba is on the border between the bench and the first team, Jadon Sancho has remained on the bench for the last two games, and Anthony Martial is not even on the bench… "When you are in a club like Manchester United, you know that there are a lot of good players and that there is no time for someone to be dissatisfied or not to give their best."
"If you are not in the starting 11, then you have to be supportive of your teammates. You wait for a chance and do your best when it comes your way. Yes, I understand that players want to play and that no one is happy when they are not playing."
"When you have all the players available at Manchester United, then there will always be good players who do not play. This has been happening to us lately."
Team before players
"Some players have to get used to the place on the bench.
And that will always be the case at Manchester United. In such situations, the character of the player is revealed." "I am happy with the character of most of my players. The moral of the team and the behavior against Tottenham were really at a high level as it always has to be."
"The team must always be before the individual ", said Solskjaer and hinted that he was not satisfied with the behavior of all first-team players. Asked if he changed the formation to three in the last line, which brought him the victory against Tottenham, in fear of being fired, he answered: "The way we played is more important than the system we played in.
We have a good enough team to play in different formations. We know that the results will come from continuity." "Tomorrow is a new chance to prove ourselves again. Atalanta has that specific, attacking and aggressive style of play that the coach passes on to them.
What they have done in the last five years is extraordinary. A very nice club where good people work ", he concluded