Liverpool's record 5-0 win at Man Utd: Solskjaer at 'rock bottom'
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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been told to drop Cristiano Ronaldo to save his Old Trafford future. Solskjaer is under pressure following Sunday’s 5-0 loss at home to Liverpool. The Red Devils are already eight points off Chelsea at the top of the table.
Antonio Conte has been linked with the United job but Solskjaer is set to remain in charge for this Saturday’s trip to Tottenham at least.
Solskjaer’s team selection against Liverpool was criticised after he picked the same starting XI that went 2-0 down to Atalanta in the Champions League in midweek.
Former Spurs striker Darren Bent believes the Norwegian must make major alterations to turn his side’s fortunes around.
And he reckons dropping Ronaldo in favour of Edinson Cavani would be the place to start.
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“I think for Ole, he’s got some big decisions to make,” Bent said on talkSPORT.
“If he wants to play this whole pressing game then he might have to bite it a little bit and go ‘you know what, Ronaldo has been good but Cavani in terms of energy, pressing, working hard from the front, is a far better option than Ronaldo, because whenever Cavani comes on, he runs around, he works.
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, if he wants to survive much longer in this role he’ll have to start making some big decisions and that includes leaving big players out.”
Paul Pogba was left out of the starting XI on Sunday and was sent off 15 minutes after being brought on at half time.
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Bent says there is no way Pogba should be playing as a holding midfielder under Solskjaer but admits there isn’t much other choice.
“[Scott] McTominay and Fred I get that because people say ‘well I wouldn’t play them’ but you’ve got to play somebody,” Bent added.
“Quite clearly Pogba doesn’t want to play that role.
“When I look at Pogba in terms of when he plays that holding role, his best work is either when he’s coming off of the left, or when he’s driving forward when he’s got someone like a [N’Golo] Kante next to him.
“Pogba’s problem when he’s playing holding midfield is that he doesn’t sense danger.
“Now if you’re a holding midfield player, you’d always be looking at the positions on the pitch thinking ‘right if he loses the ball there, am I in a position to affect it’. It’s almost like ‘what happens next?’.
“But when Pogba’s got the ball and he’s playing that holding role, when he’s going forward he’s not thinking about ‘well if I turn the ball over here, what’s going on behind me?’ because he just doesn’t want to play that role.”
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