Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Admits Some of his Players need ‘a reality check’

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got off to a rip roaring beginning at Manchester United, winning 14 of his first 17 matches. Since that hot start the form has really dropped off though. United have since lost five of seven, and those two wins were less than impressive.

It’s going to be another season without a trophy at Old Trafford, and following the midweek loss at Barcelona Solskjaer made it absolutely clear just how much this club needs to improve and how long it could take to get to the desired level.

The only thing left for United to play for this season is a top four finish, and as they currently sit sixth, there is a lot of work to do.

Ahead of the Sunday league fixture at Everton, the Norwegian said some of his players need a reality check, and that there is nowhere to hide for anybody in the squad.

“There’s no hiding place and everyone can see what your level is at,” the 46-year-old told his prematch news conference.

“The performance on the pitch will determine where they’re at — if it’s short term or long term. Most of them have really impressed in their attitude and some need to get a reality check of where they’re at, but most of the players know they can improve if they keep working as they do.”

Although it is not a perfect correlation, his team absolutely thrived when he was only the interim manager and severely deteriorated after he was named full time boss. As you know from statistics class, correlation does not imply causation.

Solskjaer wouldn’t name any names when it comes to who needs a reality check, but he did mention that he’s had to have a talk with Anthony Martial.

anthony-martial

“I’ve spoken to individuals and they know and Anthony is one I’ve spoken to — what we expect from them,” Solskjaer continued.

“Anthony has got a massive talent, he got a new contract and knows we believe in him so just keep working. I think anyone that plays for Man United has to deliver to stay in the squad and stay in the team and Anthony is no different to Rashy (Marcus Rashford) or Rom (Romelu Lukaku) or Alexis or the many forwards we have to choose from.

“That’s the great thing about it now — it’s down to players.”

He’s right- in the short term, it is down to the players to get things right for the run in. Longer term, it’s up to him and the board to get a real sound transfer window plan in place this summer, and then execute it. There have been multiple reports that a major overhaul is coming.

“We know there is a job to be done, there is no quick fix,” Solskjaer continued.

“It’s not like we can buy seven players and suddenly we are in the right shape. We are where we are and you have to take it step by step,” Solskjaer said.

“Of course there will be signings made in the summer. I know there has been loads of criticism. I don’t know if all these critics know what is happening. We have got scouts scouring the planet for good footballers.

“We’ll sign players that we think are the right fit personality wise, quality wise, price wise, and can have longevity here at this club. I’m confident we are doing what we can to get the right players in.”

Manchester United at Everton FC FYIs

Kick-off: Sunday April 21, Goodison Park, 1:30 pm

United starting XI Prediction: go to this link

Injury report for both teams: go to this link

Form Guide:     United   WLWLW    Everton LWWWL

Google Result Probability: United 41%  Draw 28%  Everton 31%

Odds: United 5/4, Draw 5/2, Everton 9/4

Prediction: United 1, Everton 0

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

He also contributes sociopolitical essays to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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