Nemanja Matic has come out saying Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to hold himself responsible if Manchester United do not compete for the Premier League title.
The Serb, who arrived at Old Trafford from Chelsea in 2017 as José Mourinho’s pet, has only made one appearance this season as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against Southampton.
United, who last won the league title in 2013, are eight in the Premier League table after four games and trial league leaders Liverpool by seven points.
Before getting into exactly what Matic said, it’s important to note that nobody in the right frame of mind thought we would challenge for the title this season. Solskjaer has a lot of work on his hands between rebuilding the team and implementing his preferred style of play.
That’s not to say the Norwegian has a free pass this season. It could end in tears if United continue to drop points week in week out against lesser opposition.
But Matic’s comments suggest players don’t need to take any responsibility for their shortcomings, and soon after reading these quotes people will suggest Solskjaer is already losing the dressing room. That’s irresponsible on his behalf.
“The coach must opt for the team that will fight for the title and if he does not win, he bears the responsibility,” Matic told reporters ahead of Serbia’s Euro qualifier against Portugal on Saturday, as quoted by Sky Sports.
“I have been in football for a long time, I have played almost all the games for all the clubs in the last 10 years. In order for me to play, one had to sit on the bench and accept that fact, and so I do now.”
Matic sounds butthurt at the fact he is no longer a regular in the starting eleven, with Solskjaer preferring a pivot of Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay in central midfield.
He was abysmal last season and didn’t look any better in pre-season when others outperformed the former Chelsea midfielder.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Solskjaer told him to pack his bags in January.