John Arne Riise had defended his compatriot and underfire Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, suggesting the players have to care more.
Manchester United’s season has taken a steep downward curve in recent weeks after defeats to Leicester City, Liverpool and Manchester City. After setting the tone earlier in the season, the Red Devils’ form continues to dip as they sit five points off a top-four spot.
The problems have been with their form, with players accused of underperforming and shying away from responsibilities. Wayne Rooney was on hand to slam the Manchester United players, while Gary Neville soon joined in to back Solskjaer despite his tremendous struggles.
However, as the nature of the game dictates, the manager is likely to take the fall for the team’s bad performances. Such was the view of former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes, who slammed Solskjaer for his approach on the field. A few weeks back, the Norwegian was one of the favourites to get the sack, although he survived.
The understanding is that Solskjaer remains on borrowed time. However, with no reliable managerial options available in the market lately, the Norwegian could stay at the club for the foreseeable future. Antonio Conte was the man linked with taking over, but he joined Tottenham as their new boss.
With pressure mounting on Solskjaer, there are very few people still backing the underfire manager. It certainly is not some of the club’s former players, and neither are some of the fans at the moment. However, the Norwegian has found one in compatriot and former Liverpool star John Arne Riise, who blamed the players.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Riise blamed the players for not taking responsibility and backed his compatriot Solkskaer, suggesting the manager cannot be accused all the time. The former Liverpool star’s comments appeared on Tribal Football, where he slammed those players for underperforming, stating ‘they don’t care’.
Riise said, “I do feel for him, as a person, of course, but he’s stepped into one of the biggest jobs in the world. And when things are not going well like they are now, it’s so easy to learn and manage it but, at the same time, I’ve watched the last three or four games of Man Utd and the attitude from the players – you can’t always blame the manager for everything.
“Look at the aggression, the tightness, the willingness to fight for the club – it’s not there from the players, and that annoys me because like, myself, I was not the most technical player, but at least I gave 110%, no matter how I was playing. Look at the Man United players now, they don’t seem to care.”
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