Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskajaer has taken it upon himself to address the media for the coverage and interpretation of his recent comments about Marcus Rashford.
He appeared to have pedalled a trope that was used to undermine Rashford’s charitable efforts during the coronavirus pandemic by certain sections of society, urging him to “prioritise” football.
He said: “You know what he has done off the pitch as well, because he has done some fantastic things, and now to prioritise, maybe prioritise his football and focus on football because he’s got a challenge on his hands here at Manchester United, he has a challenge on his hands to play for England.”
Media speculation suggested Rashford and his entourage were annoyed by Solskjaer’s comments last week, and ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Atalanta, the Norwegian addressed the “elephant in the room” immediately while the 23-year-old sat next to him.
“We are so unbelievably proud of what Marcus has done off the pitch,” he began.
“You [journalists] know what was said and you made headlines out of one little comment that I never intended to be the focus.
“I was speaking about Marcus and how it must be nice for the boy to be going into training not focusing on his shoulder or ankle or his back, and I think you know that. Now he can just enjoy his football.
“So, no questions on that, I just wanted to start with that one.”
Solskajaer has faced alot of pressure starting this new season 2021/22 on a good note, recording 5 wins and then all of a sudden recorded humiliating defeats.
Although he mostly cut a calm figure as he faced the tough questions.
“It doesn’t affect me but of course you see some of the comments,” he said when asked about Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher’s assessment United should have a better manager than Solskjaer.
“We’ve got Liverpool on Sunday as well, so Jamie is always looking at these little things.
“I’ve got my values, my way of managing, I believe in myself. As long as the club believes in me, I’m pretty sure Jamie Carragher’s opinion isn’t going to change that.
“We’ve progressed over the years. Since I was here for half a season, we’ve finished third, second – you could see progress, development.
“This season we still want to improve. We signed players who raised expectations.
“There’s pressure on me of course, but we’ve come through this before stronger as individuals and as a team.
“I’m in dialogue with the club all the time, so that’s an open and honest discussion all the time.” he concluded.