Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Manchester United manager frustrated Premier League clubs voted against five substitutes

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer disappointed Premier League clubs did not continue with five substitutes for 2020/21; Watch his 100th game in charge of Man Utd vs Arsenal on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm on Sunday; Kick-off 4.30pm

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived at Old Trafford on an interim basis in December 2018 to replace Jose Mourinho, before he was appointed permanent manager in March 2019 1:01
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskaer bemoans the decision by Premier League clubs to vote against the use of five substitutions

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has bemoaned the decision by Premier League clubs to vote against using five substitutes this season.

The rule was brought in when the 2019/20 season restarted in June after a three-month hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the top-flight has reverted to three substitutions, something Solskjaer believes has contributed to the number of injuries this campaign in a congested calendar.

Asked whether he was in favour of five substitutes, Solskjaer said: "One-hundred per cent. I don't understand and I cannot believe the vote went against because we have to look after the players.

"We have to think about the players. This season is the most demanding season of all.

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"I can see the point why clubs voted against but if you take a step back and think about these professional footballers and their mental and physical health the only sensible solution would have been to give us the opportunity to rest a few more.

"We have already seen a lot of injuries in the Premier League. I would have liked to have five subs."

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Solskjaer has faced questions in recent weeks over a lack of game time provided to summer arrival Donny van de Beek but the Norwegian is adamant the club's squad depth will prove a benefit rather than a hindrance this season.

"At the moment we are looking like a Man Utd squad," he said.

"I have got opportunities, competition for places. Any successful team in the modern era of football has had that option to rest players [and] to rotate.

Manchester United's English striker Marcus Rashford (R) celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions league group H football match between Manchester United and RB Leipzig at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, north west England, on October 28, 2020. (Photo by Anthony Devlin / AFP) (Photo by ANTHONY DEVLIN/AFP via Getty Images)
Image: Manchester United beat RB Leipzig 5-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday

"That is probably the only way you can last in this most intense league in the world, [being] also involved in the Champions League and you want to go for the trophies."

United are unbeaten in their last four matches and Solskjaer is encouraged by the response of his players since the "brutal" 6-1 defeat against Tottenham earlier this month.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) and Marcus Rashford talk on the touchline 0:45
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised Marcus Rashford's positive attitude and his return to form after injury. Watch the extended interview with Solskjaer from 10am on Super Sunday Matchday.

"We've tweaked a couple of things, got players fit and I think the manner of the defeat wasn't something we should ever have to be confronted with again," he said.

"Then again things happen in football these days and the response has been fantastic, and that's what I'm concerned about, because we wanted to finish that off as soon as we could and move forward."

Solskjaer's tenure in charge at Manchester United

Across Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's previous 99 games in charge, Manchester United have won 55, drawn 21 and lost 23.

Solskjaer will face Arsenal on Sunday in his 100th game in charge of United and he is expecting a more open title race this season.

During his playing career the Gunners were a direct rival in the league before Chelsea also emerged as title challengers, but Solskjaer believes the start of this season has underlined the improvement across the board within the top-flight.

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"I think football has developed and so many clubs have developed strength in depth and the ability to challenge for the trophies," he said.

"Even though the last two seasons you had two teams (Manchester City and Liverpool) running away with it, I think this season a lot of us just underneath them would hope to put up a challenge. Back then it was us or Arsenal, and then Chelsea came through.

"Now it's more exciting for me and the fans that it's not one of these two. Anything can happen this season with what's happening around the world and we're just taking one game at a time."

United's diamond sparkles against Leipzig

Manchester United have had to wait for their first home win of the season but it arrived in emphatic fashion with a 5-0 win over RB Leipzig on Wednesday night. Faced with two daunting fixtures to open their Champions League campaign, United have won both in style, writes Adam Bate.

Rashford is Man Utd's big-game specialist

Marcus Rashford has been labelled a national treasure for his free school meals campaign but it is not just off the pitch that he is making an impact. His hat-trick against RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday underlined his increasing importance on it.

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Jamie Redknapp joins Peter Smith on this week's show to look ahead to Sunday's showdown between Man Utd and Arsenal and says there are more questions than answers at Old Trafford as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prepares for his 100th game in charge.

Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O'Connor has the latest on Liverpool's injury problems and discusses the young players who could cover at centre-back.

And Sky Sports statistician Matt Cheetham picks out the numbers which explain why Everton's defeat at Southampton could just be a blip, and makes his bold Pitch for what will happen in the Premier League this weekend.

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