Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left his Manchester United squad with his failure to criticise them after a shock defeat to Sheffield United last season.

The Red Devils were neck and neck with Manchester City at the turn of the year and United could have gone top of the Premier League by beating Sheffield United at Old Trafford in January.

However, the Blades inflicted a shock 2-1 defeat on United and the Red Devils’ title challenge collapsed in the following weeks, with Pep Guardiola’s men eventually winning the title by 12 points.

Such a setback should have been met with fury from Solskjaer and the squad were expecting a Sir Alex Ferguson-esque hairdryer following the loss but the Athletic report that the team were shocked by Solskjaer’s non-reaction.

Instead of laying into the team, Solskjaer let his squad off the hook and felt that a defeat of that kind was inevitable after a long unbeaten run.

But by failing to let the players take responsiblity for the defeat, the team then slipped into a malaise and picked up just 11 points from their next six fixtures.

Solskjaer is liked by the squad but some feel the Norwegian is too close to the players and needs to distance himself more to command more respect.

United have made a mixed start to the season, accumulating 14 points from an available 21 despite a generous set of fixtures.

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