How Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reacted to Manchester Uniteds defeat to Watford in dressing room
The Hornets recorded their first home win of the season with a 2-0 win again the Red Devils at Vicarage Road on Sunday to ensure United are eighth at Christmas; their lowest position since 1989 at this stage of the year.
The defeat comes on the back of a six-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, which included wins against Tottenham and Manchester City. Those victories suggested United had turned a corner and Solskjaer even found positives in draws against Sheffield United and Everton during that run.
But there was no such attempt from Solskjaer at Vicarage Road with sources telling Metro.co.uk that the away dressing room sat in stunned silence following United’s defeat.
The Norwegian is not one for the ‘hairdryer’ and tends to find positives even from defeats but he was despondent after witnessing his side’s lacklustre display. Solskjaer described the first half as a having a ‘testimonial’ feel and, though his side actually picked up after the interval, they conceded twice in five minutes and failed to muster a reply.
With Solskjaer failing to address the squad, the floor was free for a senior player to speak up. But, in an indication of the lack of leadership in the dressing room, not a single player spoke up.
Club captain Ashley Young was an unused substitute against his former side, while David De Gea was in no position to criticise others given it was his mistake that gifted the Hornets the lead shortly after half-time. The onus could perhaps then have fallen on Paul Pogba but the Frenchman was making his first appearance for the club in three months.
Solskjaer must now rally his troops as they prepare for the visit of Newcastle United on Boxing Day. Pogba’s appearance at Vicarage Road was the only silver lining to the defeat and the Frenchman is in line to start against the Magpies after an impressive cameo against the Hornets.
Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are both set to step-up their rehabilitation from long-term knee injuries this week by participating in first team training.