Why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Might as Well Play the Kids When Man Utd Finish the Season Against Cardiff

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warned after Sunday's pathetic 1-1 draw against a poor Huddersfield team relegated weeks ago that some players may have already played their last game for the club ahead of a potential summer rebuild.

"I can't talk about individuals now but there's a chance you've seen the last of players anyway," the Norwegian explained after the final whistle, with the result confirming that United will not finish in the Premier League top four and miss out on Champions League football next season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

It also means that, ahead of facing Cardiff on the final day of the season, United have picked up just eight measly points from their last eight Premier League games.

From successfully bridging the 11-point gap to the top four when Solskjaer first took over, to falling to pieces as soon as it became clear the interim boss would be appointed permanently, the Norwegian has been badly let down in recent weeks by an underperforming group of players.

Several don't look as though they want to be there, while others simply aren't good enough.


With just one game of the season to go and nothing left to play for, Solskjaer might as well be ruthless in his team selection for Cardiff, ignore those he has earmarked for departure and hand opportunities to hungry youth team graduates eager to impress.

It is something Solskjaer resisted when he started Alexis Sanchez against Huddersfield, only to replace the Chilean flop with Tahith Chong. The boss did, however, drop Anthony Martial, a player rumoured to running out of time at Old Trafford because of a poor attitude in training.

Given that the first team have been so very poor since March, why shouldn't the likes of Chong, Angel Gomes, James Garner, Mason Greenwood and perhaps one or two others not be involved, potentially even from the start, against Cardiff?

Solskjaer has certainly shown he is prepared to give youth a chance this season after using all four of those players at various points since he took over in December. And, at this stage of the campaign, what have United possibly got to lose?

Wholesale changes in favour of youth players is not something that has been unheard of in recent seasons at United. Jose Mourinho started with six academy players on the final day of the 2016/17 campaign, albeit for different reasons, while Gomes was handed a debut from the bench.

The Portuguese, who was saving his senior stars for the Europa League final, was rewarded when Josh Harrop scored inside just 15 minutes - his only senior appearance for the club before opting to join Preston a few weeks later - with United eventually wining the game 2-0.


This weekend could provide Solskjaer with the perfect opportunity to do the same.

Source : 90min