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Three things Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got wrong in Man United’s defeat by West Ham



Manuel Lanzini’s early goal avenged West Ham United’s defeat to Manchester United, as The Hammers knocked the Premier League title contenders out of the Carabao Cup with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.

The Argentine’s 10th minute sweeping finish from Ryan Fredericks’ excellent cut-back was enough to secure progression into the next round over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

The intensity, bite, and directness United displayed when they fell behind to the Clarets at the London Stadium was not replicated under the lights Old Trafford.

21 changes were made between the two managers, with West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen being the only player to start both last weekend’s contest and the League Cup tie.

United improved in the second half and forced goalkeeper Alphonse Areola into several saves, but the breakthrough did not happen, and West Ham hung on to progress to the next round.

According to Dailystar Sport below are three things Solskjaer got wrong against the Hammers.

Midfield partnership selection

Solskjaer also deployed the Dutchman alongside Matic in the 2-1 defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League, so it was a surprise the Norwegian opted for the two alongside each other again.

It started terribly, with van de Beek giving the ball away in the build-up to Lanzini’s goal.

The former Ajax man just does not look comfortable sitting in front of the back four, with the 24-year-old often getting stranded in the middle.

When Solskjaer’s side decided to spend £40million on the Dutchman, most of his appearances for Ajax came as an No.8 or a No.10 midfielder.

But, Solskjaer is persisting with him as part of a defensive midfield pivot – whether he continues to deploy him in front of the back four, if at all, remains to be seen.

Van de Beek did improve in the second half where he looked to be playing in a more advanced position.

He lofted a perfect pass for Greenwood to latch on to, but the youngster could not get the purchase on his effort to beat Alphonse Areola in the West Ham goal.

The back four

Alex Telles made his first appearance of the season after a long absence, and he certainly looked like he had not played a match since July.

The Brazilian was nut-megged by Fredericks, who proceeded to cut the ball back for Lanzini to sweep home and give the Hammers the lead.

It was a poor moment for the experienced 28-year-old who really should not have made life so easy for Fredericks.

Diogo Dalot put in some very promising crosses, but he seemed to struggle with the overlapping runs of West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku.

Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly also looked lost in West Ham’s opener as they could not decide whether to track the on-rushing Jarrod Bowen or hold their ground to try and block the cross.

However, Telles certainly did not do the central defenders any favours, and his first-half mistake was costly to United.

A complete overhaul

Both managers effectively overhauled their side due to the quick turnaround, but Solskjaer’s changes did not appear to work as well as Moyes’

While the Hammers also fielded a completely different starting eleven, every player was played in their natural position except for Bowen who is naturally a winger rather than a forward.

Another defensive midfielder or a ball player was desperately needed for United as West Ham cut through their midfield like butter.

Jadon Sancho did need a start with the new signing yet to open his goalscoring or assist account with the Red Devils, since arriving from Borussia Dortmund for £71m.

But United had Mason Greenwood on the bench, who has started brilliantly but has failed to score in his last two matches.

Solskjaer’ said he wants to manage the minutes of his key players, but he desperately needed some of them on the pitch against the Hammers.


Rio Ferdinand issues major warning about Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag




Former centre-back Rio Ferdinand believes it is still too early to judge whether Erik ten Hag is the right man to lead Manchester United back to the top, despite their unquestionable improvement under him this season.

United head into tomorrow’s Manchester derby against City at Old Trafford with the knowledge that a win will lift them to within a point and place of their neighbours in the Premier League table.

The Reds have lost just one of their last 18 matches since being battered 6-3 by City back in October, featuring a current run of eight wins on the bounce.

The Reds, such is the level of progress they have made under Ten Hag this season, are now considered as one of the favourites to qualify for the Champions League for next season.

They have made significant strides in a relatively short space of time and victories over the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur already this season have proven that they are capable of competing in the upper echelons of the table again.

However, despite heading into the second half of the campaign with form in their sails, Ferdinand insists the jury is still out on Ten Hag, despite him reaching 20 wins as United manager quick than any of his predecessors.

“I think it’s too early to say,” said Ferdinand to the Mirror. “We’ve been here with previous managers when it looks like we are onto something.

“We’ve got to be patient and give the man time. I think all the signs are very positive at the moment. He’s come in and seen what is happening, assessed how things are, looked at individuals and looked at the shape of the team.

“These were a bunch of players that were quite low. They were shot to pieces and he’s had to build, not only footballers, but men back up again. He’s had to build a lot of human beings back up and that takes time.

“The fact he’s now talking about qualifying for the Champions League so positively, he can sense a confidence coming back into this team. There’s a consistency of performance from the team that wasn’t there before and the signals and signs are all very promising.

“But they’re still not where they want to be. City are way ahead of where United are. The distance is a bit closer, but it’s still not anywhere near where we want it to be. There’s still work to be done.”

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Manchester United takeover bids ‘expected imminently’ with serious interest in Club




Manchester United are expecting takeover offers from across the world as they are set to invite bids ahead of ‘mid-February deadline’.

The Telegraph have reported that the club have received ‘serious interest’ from consortiums based in the Middle East, Asia and the United States.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also weighing up an offer, as the Glazers hope to the sell one of the biggest clubs in the world for over £5billion.

The report also adds that parties who had been interested in taking over Chelsea, before Todd Boehly’s £4.25bn takeover, are set to return with approaches for the Red Devils.

It’s expected that potential investors will go public with their attempts to buy United in the coming weeks with the clock ‘now ticking on a deal’.

Senior United figures will issue a mid February deadline for formal offers in order to help get get the takeover completed before the end of the season.

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Confirmed: Chelsea ready to make late bid to hijack another Arsenal transfer




Chelsea will make a late attempt to scupper Arsenal’s hopes of finally signing Mikhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Gunners have submitted their third bid for the Ukraine international winger and hope an offer of £62m before add-ons, which take the deal closer to £70m, will be enough to break the deadlock between the two clubs.

Chelsea’s interest in the 21-year-old winger was earlier this week described only as ‘exploratory’ but ESPN now claim that Todd Boehly will test the waters and attempt to throw a spanner in the works for the Premier League leaders.

Shakhtar’s technical director Darijo Srna was pictured at Stamford Bridge last week as he watched Chelsea’s defeat against Manchester City and Boehly would have little issue with meeting an asking price which is closer to £88million.

Arsenal are said to be confident that their latest bid for Mudryk will be enough to finally secure the services of their No.1 January target, but have already been beaten to the punch once this month by their west London rivals.

Chelsea won the race to sign Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid amid competition from Arsenal and Manchester United, but the Portugal international’s promising debut ended in devastating fashion when he was sent off just shy of the hour mark for a dangerous challenge on Fulham’s Kenny Tete.

Felix will now miss the next three games through suspension as the problems mount for Chelsea’s under-fire manager Graham Potter.

‘It sums up where we are at the moment – everything that can go wrong, is going wrong,’ Potter said after Chelsea’s 2-1 west London derby defeat.

‘It was a forward’s tackle from Joao, there was no malice in it but I understand why it was a red. It is another blow the hits keep coming at the moment.

‘He was really good you could see his quality in the game so it is doubly disappointing for us because he was looking dangerous throughout.

‘I don’t think there was too much malice in it and it is an unfortunate action and we are going to lose him now for three games.’

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