Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 'couldn't believe' five subs rule was scrapped

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘couldn’t believe’ five subs rule in the Premier League was scrapped with Man United boss saying players’ physical and mental welfare crucial in ‘most demanding season of all’ as his side prepare to take on Arsenal

  • Premier League clubs were allowed to make five subs per game after restart
  • But the temporary rule was scrapped at the beginning of the current campaign
  • Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer couldn’t believe rule changed
  • He pointed out players’ well-being is more important than ever in hectic season
  • United host Arsenal on Sunday as they hope to build on RB Leipzig thrashing 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is shocked that Premier League clubs voted against keeping the five substitutes rule, and has warned it could jeopardise players’ health.

The measure was introduced as part of Project Restart to help top-flight teams finish last season after it was put on hold by the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, clubs voted in August to revert to three substitutes this season and Solskjaer has hit out at the decision.   

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes five substitutions should be permitted in Premier League games as was the case during the last part of last season

Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba prepare to come on during Manchester United’s win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday night

United will be hoping to build on Wednesday night’s 5-0 thrashing of RB Leipzig this Sunday

Premier League unless stated

Sunday Arsenal (H)

Wednesday Istanbul Basaksehir (A)

Champions League group stage

November 7 Everton (A)

November 21 West Brom (H)

November 24 Istanbul Basaksehir (H)

Champions League group stage

November 29 Southampton (A)

‘I don’t understand and cannot believe the vote went against,’ said the Manchester United manager. ‘We have to look after the players and this season is the most demanding season of all.

‘I can see the point why clubs voted against, but if you take a step back and think about these professional footballers and their mental and physical health, the only sensible solution would have been to rest a few more.

‘We have seen loads of injuries. Pep (Guardiola) has spoken about it. We as managers and club medical staff have to look after them and rest them. I would have liked to have had five subs – 110 per cent.’

Solskjaer confirmed that new signing Alex Telles will again be missing when United play Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday after testing positive for coronavirus.

‘Alex won’t be ready, no,’ he added. ‘So apart from that I would think everyone else looks like they could be involved.’

The United boss expects Phil Jones to be available again after knee surgery, and he confirmed that Sergio Romero has returned to training this week even though it appears the Argentine goalkeeper has no future at the club. 

Both players were omitted from United’s squad for the Premier League and Champions League.

‘Well, Sergio has just come back into training this week, so he’s started his pre-season work and is working to get to his peak fitness with the goalkeepers,’ said Solskjaer.

‘Phil has been injured and had an op and is working really hard to be back. Hopefully he’ll get fit in December. When you’re injured you can’t get into the squad, he’s working really diligently to get back in the squad now.’

Goalkeeper Sergio Romero was left out of United’s Premier League and European squads

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