‘These boys will NEVER give up like that team did’: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer accuses his former Manchester United stars of downing tools in 4-0 drubbing at Everton last year as he prepares for return to Goodison
- Manchester United were hammered 4-0 by Everton at Goodison Park last season
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he knew that day that some of his players had to go
- Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling both started that day but are not at the club
- Phil Jones was taken off at half-time and has barely played since that defeat
- Solskjaer said the ‘capitulation’ was the ‘lowest I’ve been’ as United manager
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has vowed there will be no repeat of Manchester United’s collapse at Goodison Park last season – and revealed that the crushing defeat by Everton ended the Old Trafford careers of some of his stars.
United lost 4-0 at Goodison in April as Solskjaer hit his lowest point as United manager less than a month after being handed the job on a full-time basis.
The Norwegian heads back to Merseyside on Sunday admitting that he knew then that time was up for some of his players, even though he had to wait until the summer to ring the changes.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watches on as his Manchester United team are beaten 4-0 at Everton
Chris Smalling (L) and Romelu Lukaku (R) saw their Old Trafford careers end that afternoon
TEAM: De Gea, Lindelof, Smalling, Jones (Young 45), Dalot, Pogba, Matic, Fred (McTominay 45), Rashford (Pereira 77), Lukaku, Martial.
SUBS NOT USED: Sanchez, Mata, Lingard, Romero.
Solskjaer didn’t name the players but Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling both started the game at Goodison before leaving for Italy at the end of the season. Alexis Sanchez, an unused substitute that day, joined Lukaku on loan at Inter Milan.
Phil Jones was taken off at half-time and has only started four Premier League games since then after United signed Harry Maguire in the summer.
‘That was the day, the lowest I’ve been,’ said Solskjaer. ‘I think you all remember that. I knew probably before then. One or two had their last chance, more or less, but we had to get to the summer first.
‘That was a capitulation. We had absolutely nothing about us, even though their goals were more or less counter-attacks from set-plays and long throw-ins.
‘Everything you didn’t want to see you saw in that game. Against Everton at home, they’re hard to play against with two up front. They put players in the box and we knew what we were up against. I’m 100 per cent sure we’ll put up a better performance.’
Phil Jones also struggled that afternoon and has barely played for the Red Devils since
Lucas Digne smashed in Everton’s third goal on a miserable afternoon for Solskjaer’s team
Asked if Lukaku is one of the players he was referring to after the Belgium striker reportedly told United in March that he wanted to leave at the end of the season, Solskjaer added: ‘I’m not going to talk about Rom now. He’s done well in Italy and we’ve coped well without him.’
The United boss is confident that the current squad will not fold in the same way as United look to maintain their bid for a Champions League place and extend a five-point lead over Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
‘With hand on heart, I can say 100 per cent say these boys will never give in and never give up like that team did,’ added Solskjaer.
‘These are the boys we want to build the next team around.’
Solskjaer cuts a frustrated figure at the end of the match after watching his side crumble
Meanwhile, Anthony Martial is facing a race against time to be fit for this season’s Everton trip
Anthony Martial faces another late fitness test after missing the Europa League win over Club Brugge with a thigh strain.
However, Solskjaer is confident that Odion Ighalo can step in again after scoring on his full debut against Brugge in Martial’s absence.
‘I don’t know about Anthony, to be honest. I’ve not asked,’ said Solskjaer on Thursday night.
‘He tried this morning so he wasn’t that bad but we’ll have to do a scan on Friday probably. Odion has definitely shown what type of striker he is. He’s ready for that game on Sunday.’
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