Manchester United

Manchester United in chaos as 'clear the air talks' fail

Max Cooper
Solskjaer has lost the dressing room
Solskjaer has lost the dressing room / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages
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Manchester United are in absolute chaos heading into Saturday's clash with Tottenham Hotspur, as attempted clear the air talks ended in players turning on coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for a number of decisions, including making Harry Maguire captain at Old Trafford.

The Norwegian boss is on the brink of the sack following a 4-2 defeat to Leicester City and a shock 5-0 home loss to bitter rivals Liverpool. The coach will be on the bench to face Spurs, but latest reports suggest the players have lost the faith.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Anthony Taylor
A miserable afternoon / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages

The Times reports that 'clear the air' meetings have been held between the Man Utd players and Solskjaer in a bid to rectify the situation, but little has been resolved, instead creating an even bigger rift.

The squad met with their coach two days after the 4-2 defeat to Leicester on October 16, and they were asked what they believed could be done to turn their poor form around. One player criticised his teammates for a lack of motivation in training, while another questioned Solskjaer's decision to hand Maguire the captain's armband after six months at the club.

It didn't stop there, either. Another player began asking Solskjaer why he refused to drop players who were performing badly, suggesting that the Norwegian and his staff are too reluctant to reward fringe players with a crack in the starting lineup.

That meeting was followed up by the disastrous 5-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, and another set of talks were held in the dressing room at the final whistle.

Some Man Utd players had previously shared concerns between themselves over Solskjaer's tactical acumen in the biggest games and against the top coaches, and those fears came to life on Sunday.

However, one man is determined to carry Man Utd through these times of hardship - and of course, it's Cristiano Ronaldo. The Manchester Evening News reports that while others are ready to wave goodbye to their coach, the Portuguese legend is doing his best to hold the dressing room together.

Ronaldo has told teammates not to down tools or give up, no matter their opinions on Solskjaer's tactics or position as manager. In fact, he encouraged them to support their boss for as long as he's in the dugout.

These latest developments speak of a club in complete and utter disarray, as they face the prospect of a tough set of upcoming fixtures. Man Utd travel to take on Spurs on Saturday, before then heading to Italy to face Atalanta, and then entertaining Manchester City at Old Trafford.

Poor results in any of these fixtures could spell the end of Solskjaer's time as Man Utd coach, with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believed to be interested in the position. The Red Devils' board have opted to give their club legend another chance as manager, but he is living on borrowed time.


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