– Ole wants to fight back – VG


THE PRESSURE: Ole Gunnar Solskjær pictured in connection with the 1-6 loss against Tottenham last league round. Photo: NTB

After a weak start to the season, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s job is under pressure – again. Club legend Arthur Albiston (63), on the other hand, is sure that the red shirts will reverse the weak Premier League trend under the Norwegian’s leadership.

– These are difficult times, but I’m sure they can turn it around. They have had a tough start, but they have players to overcome the problems. The players are also aware of the situation, and it is up to them to turn it around, Albiston says to VG.

“The Theater of Dreams” has been a nightmare for Solskjær so far this season. The surprising 1-3 slam at home against Crystal Palace in the series opener was followed by a lucky away win against Brighton, before Tottenham inflicted the biggest Premier League loss in United club history a week and a half ago – with the 1-6 fade at Old Trafford.

This has contributed to speculation that Solskjær is dependent on good results in the time to come to keep the job. The team is in 16th place after three games.

On Friday, Solskjær was grilled about the bad start in the press conference before the match against Newcastle. He then claimed that the critics from outside were trying to create divisions in the squad.

Believes Solskjær has confidence

Only 10 players in United’s impressive history have more games for the club than Albiston. After 485 appearances and five cup titles, the Scot still lives in Manchester.

In a conversation with VG, the 63-year-old, who occasionally appears as an expert on MUTV, says that he thinks the club has confidence in Solskjær. Albiston points out that it is a short time since the 47-year-old led United to 3rd place in the series with Champion League participation as a reward.

– Ole has done well. Many wrote them off after a tough start last season, but then they fought back. I’m sure Ole and the team will fight back. I see no reason why they can not do that. They were close to taking a title last season, something they can hopefully do now, says the Scot.

Among other things, he aims for United to be a full 14 points behind Leicester, who were among the top four teams after 25 rounds of last season. When the series was over 13 games later, Solskjær’s men were incredibly four points ahead.

– What is certain is that the whole club is behind Ole and his support staff. Liverpool and City have in recent seasons set the standard for the rest. Now it’s up to Ole and the team to reverse the trend and start winning matches in the coming weeks.

BELIEVE IN SOLSKJÆR: Arthur Albiston pictured during a previous meeting with VG, in 2012. Photo: Knut Espen Svegaarden, VG

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On Saturday, United will play away against Newcastle, before the trip to Paris and next week’s Champions League meeting with PSG. Albiston believes the Norwegian is living well with the speculation.

– Everyone is impatient. Everyone wants results, and preferably “yesterday”. But there are no easy matches. You have to be at your best all the time, and that is first and foremost the players who are responsible for that, he says.

After the loss to Tottenham, however, Solskjær admitted that it hurt.

– It’s very embarrassing. It has hurt all the players and it has hurt me. As a manager, it’s my worst day ever. I stretch my arm in the air and must take responsibility for this, said the Christian wonder, before adding:

– We have lost a lot before, and we have always fought back.

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Must overcome the problems

There is an opinion Albiston shares.

– It was a setback, but we have all played in difficult matches. The only ones who can turn it around are the players. They are the ones who have to go out and perform. If Manchester United lose a few games, it’s always a disaster. Ole and the team have to put it aside and work hard to overcome it.

– Do Solskjær and United have a good enough squad to be able to challenge the best teams?

– Yes. Ole will always be looking to improve the stable, but they have players to challenge City and Liverpool. There is also enough time to turn this around. Ole is highly respected in the club. Everyone is behind him. The supporters will also be behind him, but the players must do the job, warns the Scot.

PS: Since the loss to Tottenham, Solskjær has strengthened the team with four signings in the form of the Ivorian winger Amad Diallo Traoré (18), the Uruguayan top talent Facundo Pellistri (18), the Brazilian left back Alex Telles (27) and the striker Edinson Cavani (33) from Uruguay.

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