Arsenal icon Ian Wright believes that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is deserving of criticism despite Roy Keane laying the bulk of the blame at the feet of the Manchester United players, because he thinks Mikel Arteta would have the same Red Devils squad challenging for the Premier League title.
Former captain Keane was highly critical of the United team following Sunday’s Premier League loss to Arsenal – their third defeat in four Premier League home games this season.
Keane slammed a lack of leaders at United and insists there is “a real lack of quality” and “a long way back” for his old club.
He even warned: “Ole will lose his job working with these players. As sure as night follows day, that’s what is going to happen.”
But Wright disagrees with his former Premier League rival and even reckons that Arsenal boss Arteta would have the same United squad challenging for major domestic honours, having won the FA Cup with the north London club last term.
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The under-fire Solskjaer has come in for external pressure but is thought to be safe in his job, despite former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino remaining a free agent.
The Norwegian is also safe, for now, despite United sitting 15th with seven points from six games, although winning their game in hand would move them two points behind Chelsea and Arsenal.
And Arsenal legend Wright reckons Solskjaer has the tools to be doing far better with his current squad, having added the likes of Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani to a squad that finished third last season.
“Can I just say something, I’m just going to blast it in: If Arteta is managing Man United they are challenging,” Wright said on his new Ringer FC podcast, Wrighty’s House.
“Because, for me now I’ve got to the point where, when you look at the inconsistency of Man United with the components they have, the team that they have, what they should be doing.
“We’re talking about [Paul] Pogba here, World Cup winner, you’ve got [Axel] Tuanzebe who can’t even get on the pitch after marking arguably two of the most exciting and brilliant players in the world.
“He’s using two holding midfielders when if he’s playing Tuanzebe he doesn’t need that! And you’ve got a manager who, for me, is playing off of vibes, he’s managing off of pure vibes.
“Look at what Arteta has done in his time at Arsenal. We’re seeing coaching change, we’re seeing coaching on the field, we’re seeing impact.
“Look at [Mohamed] Elneny, came out of the blue, found him and said, ‘He can do this for me, he can do that for me’. He’s making the parts work.
“And looking at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who’s got a Man United team with this Telles – I think Telles looks like someone who could do something.
“Harry Maguire is starting to get back to what he can do, we know what Harry Maguire can do, with Tuanzebe next to him and [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka, and the goalkeeper is starting to find his form, they should be doing better than that.
“What they did against Arsenal the other day, for me, for Man United, coming off the back of the two results, was embarrassing.
“Roy Keane was saying the players will get him the sack. It’s not just the players.”
Informed about Keane’s comments in a press conference on Tuesday, Solskjaer admitted he does acknowledge his old United team-mate’s opinions.
Solskjaer said: “Roy has always been outspoken. I’m very glad that I’ve got the players that I have here with us.
“We’ve got different jobs. Roy’s job is to give his opinion. I always listen to Roy.
“But we move on here with a great group of players, a strong group of players. I’m sure we’ll see a response.”
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