Solskjær says he will not drop De Gea for visit of Chelsea

Sarri will consider his first season at Chelsea a success whatever the outcome of the club’s pursuit of Champions League qualification

United keeper David de Gea  after making a save during the  league match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on April 24th. Photograph:  Oli Scarff/AFP

United keeper David de Gea after making a save during the league match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on April 24th. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjær said he will not drop David de Gea for the visit of Chelsea on Sunday despite the Manchester United goalkeeper’s shaky form.

De Gea was at fault for Manchester City’s goals in the 2-0 derby defeat at Old Trafford on Wednesday. The Spaniard was also culpable for Lionel Messi’s second in the 3-0 defeat at Barcelona in United’s Champions League exit last week.

Asked if he might remove the No 1, Solskjær said: “No. Not at all. Because I trust David, and he’s for me been the best player United have had for the last six or seven years. He has been absolutely outstanding – going through tough patches is part of a footballer’s career and David will be fine.”

De Gea is yet to agree a new deal on terms that expire in summer 2020. Solskjær does not believe this is the reason for the goalkeeper’s form.

“That’s something you have to deal with as a footballer. It’s a situation [that can be normal]. David’s coming in every single day and doing what he should be doing.”

The manager also believes Paul Pogba will be at United next season, although the manager admits there can be no guarantees. The midfielder’s future is unclear, and it is understood Pogba will consider departing if United do not qualify for the Champions League.

Solskjær said: “You can’t guarantee anything in football, but yes, I think Paul’s going to be here. He’s very determined to succeed at Man United.”

The Norwegian understands how Pogba can be a lightning rod for the side – singled out for praise when winning, criticised for being off-form when losing. United have lost seven of their past nine matches.

“That’s just the standards he sets because, when he’s creating chances, scoring goals, doing loads of work [that’s fine],” said Solskjær. “Everyone looks to Paul, [saying] could you have done better? But he’s done fantastic for us. We want him to do well. He’s a leader in that dressing room and on the pitch for us.”

First season

Meanwhile, Maurizio Sarri will consider his first season at Chelsea a success whatever the outcome of the club’s pursuit of Champions League qualification, but has challenged his players to secure a top four finish and a place in the Europa League final in the weeks to come.

The Londoners can open a six-point gap from United, effectively knocking their hosts out of contention for the top four, by winning at Old Trafford on Sunday, with qualification for Europe’s elite competition in their own hands.

Sarri has also taken the team to a Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt, and saw his team beaten on penalties by Manchester City in the League Cup final.

Yet the season has actually been played out to grumbling discontent from the sidelines at the style of football mustered by Sarri’s side. Asked if it would constitute a failure if Chelsea did not secure a return to the Champions League, Sarri said: “No. No, we played a final, which we lost on penalties. We are in the semi-final in the Europa League. We are fighting for the top four. So the season, at the moment, is good.”

The Chelsea head coach has accepted a decision, made by the club, Burnley and the English Football Association, not to pursue his allegation that members of the visiting coaching staff had repeatedly referred to him as “a shit Italian” during Monday’s draw at Stamford Bridge.

Technical area

Sarri was sent to the stands after leaving his technical area, an offence which saw him fined £8,000, yet the comments allegedly made by Burnley’s staff, which Chelsea reported to the match official, would have constituted a breach of FA Rule E3 (2) in referencing nationality and, if proven, opened the door to a suspension and heftier fine.

Instead the FA indicated on Thursday that no further action would be taken around the fixture. Chelsea later issued a short statement confirming issues “between both benches have been resolved between the coaches and clubs”.

“It was a strong discussion but on the pitch, under pressure, and, in my opinion, a situation on the pitch has to remain on the pitch,” said Sarri. “I made a lot of mistakes on the pitch in the past. Under pressure it can happen.”

– Guardian

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.