Man Utd’s concern over Antonio Conte appointment as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces sack calls

Solskjaer and Maguire lament Manchester United's lack of discipline in Bern

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Manchester United are currently top of the Premier League table. However, that hasn’t stopped the critics from lining up to take aim at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following their 2-1 Champions League defeat to FC Young Boys on Tuesday night. Antonio Conte is available, too, with some fans calling on him to take over.

Manchester United were expected to put Young Boys to the sword, just like they did with Newcastle at the weekend.

But Solskjaer oversaw a seventh Champions League defeat from 11 matches in charge, with Young Boys springing a major surprise.

Though Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s red card and Jesse Lingard’s mistake at the end cost them dearly, it’s the Norwegian who is currently in the spotlight.

Some fans on social media have called on his head to roll.

And talkSPORT’s Jason Cundy has also insisted United would be wise to sack Solskjaer and replace him with Conte, who is currently a free agent.

“That there, shows he’s [Solskjaer] utterly clueless,” he said.

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“Young Boys are normally whipping boys of European football and United get rolled over 2-1… it was a disasterclass, it was an absolute disaster.

“It exposed Ole, it did badly. I’d sack him. We know what’s coming, don’t we? You’ve got Antonio Conte out there…

“Who’s the better manager? There will be a stage in the season where they’ll be like ‘I wish we did it earlier.’”

Yet while that’s the case, United aren’t planning to sack Solskjaer any time soon.

After all, they gave him a new contract back in the summer because the Glazers feel he’s the right man for the job.

And then there’s the board’s Conte concern to factor in, too.

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CaughtOffside revealed in 2018 that, at a time where the Italian was being considered to replace Jose Mourinho, not everybody at United was behind the idea of his appointment.

It’s stated that certain board members feared whether Conte would ‘represent enough of a break away from the Mourinho era’.

Others were also concerned that his tactics and man-management style is also too similar to Mouinho’s.

And, in the end, United resisted the temptation to hire him on that occasion.

Instead, they gave the job to Solskjaer – initially on an interim basis before hiring him permanently.

There’s no denying the Red Devils have made significant progress under the 48-year-old during his two-and-a-half years in the role.

But fans want trophies. Players want trophies. And whether he can deliver on that front remains to be seen.

Speaking after United’s defeat to Young Boys, meanwhile, Solskjaer rued Wan-Bissaka and Lingard’s errors.

“I can understand why he gives it because Aaron take a touch that goes too far,” he said.

“It’s never a dangerous tackle because it hits him on the front of his foot.

“We’ve seen sometimes – a bit like Harvey Elliott [at Liverpool] – bad injuries and there was never reckless or malicious.

“But probably a little bit inexperienced to go through without having the ball… But it makes it difficult after that with 10 men.

“That’s football for you at the highest level. A lack of concentration, make a mistake and you get punished.

“We did that last year in Europe, we conceded two very sloppy counter-attacks against [Istanbul] Basaksehir and we lost that game.

“Today, the last seconds, Jesse wants to play it safe and misplaces a pass and we concede a goal. It happens in football. Harry Hindsight is a very good player so if Jesse could have that chance again, he’ll turn a boot it the other way. But we’ll learn from it.

“We know we’ve given ourselves a more difficult task than we did last year, but everyone thought we were through after two games last year. You need 10, maybe 12 points, win all your home games and maybe one away from home.

“We’ve lost an opportunity to get three points, but we’ve got two home games next and we’ll focus on those two.”

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