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Mata on the left wing and Fred starting? Solskjaer’s Man Utd selection calls stun Hargreaves

6:25 PM GMT+4 07/10/2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United 2019-20
The former Red Devils star has questioned why, even with injuries taken into account, the man calling the shots is playing so many out of position

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has seen his selection calls at Manchester United questioned by Owen Hargreaves, with the former Red Devils midfielder puzzled by some of the decisions being made.

The man calling the shots at Old Trafford has had to get creative at times this season as injury struggles have offered an unwelcome headache in what is already a testing time for all concerned.

Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial are among those currently on the sidelines, with Solskjaer having to place considerable faith in youngsters or those who would normally be on the fringes of the fold.

Hargreaves has no issue with that, but the ex-England international admits to having been left stunned by the desire of the Red Devils boss to force square pegs into round holes.

He told Optus Sport after seeing United suffer a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle to leave them in the bottom half of the Premier League table: “Think about the start of the game.

“One position Juan Mata has never played at Manchester United on the left wing – he starts on the left wing.

“Everybody moans that he plays on the right, then he plays on the left for some reason.

“[Andreas] Pereira is a No.10, he plays on the right.

“[Marcus] Rashford is struggling for confidence, we’re not sure if he’s a No.9.

“Fred, I feel sorry for him because he’s struggling in a United shirt.

“You’ve got so many people in positions which aren’t even their own. Ashley Young was playing left-back.

“The only bright spark I’d say was [Axel] Tuanzebe. I thought he played really well.

“But the rest is so far off what you’d expect. I feel sorry for United fans because this will take a long time to fix.”

Time is something that Solskjaer may find himself short on if he is unable to deliver a reversal in fortune.

Questions asked of his ability to fill such a demanding coaching post have resurfaced, with many having warned against handing him a permanent contract in the first place.

Standards have slipped alarmingly following a bright start to his reign, with all of those at Old Trafford now under no illusion as to the size of the challenge they face.