Solskjaer praising United in defeat is a weakness, says Ian Wright, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Solskjaer praising United in defeat is a weakness, says Ian Wright

United boss setting a bad precedent by saying they played well when they didn't, says ex-Arsenal star

Ian Wright has voiced concerns over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's comments that Manchester United played well in their 2-1 English Premier League defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers, saying that such feedback can be perceived as a weakness from the United manager.

Chris Smalling's own-goal condemned 10-man United to a their third loss in four games yesterday morning (Singapore time), as the Red Devils missed the chance to climb back into the Champions League spots.

Scott McTominay's first United goal put the visitors ahead, but Fred's mistake allowed Diogo Jota to level in the first half and Ashley Young was sent off mid-way through the second half for two bookings in five minutes, Reuters reported.

Having criticised his team after the 2-1 win over Watford at the weekend, Solskjaer was forgiving about yesterday's setback, saying United created enough chances to win.

"Very good start. Should have been three up. Or could have. We created our own downfall really... But for their goalkeeper (Rui Patricio), we should have won this game," he said.

"The lads played well today. We created chances, with 10 men as well. They scored with their first chance after the sending-off, that's about 25 minutes after the sending-off.

"The boys have done exactly what they should have done, but we made sloppy mistakes and didn't score ourselves."


However, Arsenal legend Wright feels that such a reaction from Solskjaer can send the wrong message to his players, and could set a "bad" precedent, too.

"Too many players had a bad day today, they did create chances but Wolves played well," Wright told Premier League Productions.

"I feel that Ole may have set a bad precedent by saying that his team played well and that he is happy with what they did.

"When we go through the team and look at who played well, they didn't play well.

"So when you say, 'Well done, we played well and should have won because of the chances we created', then that would just make me think we didn't play well.

"And if you're going to start doing that, then that is a weakness because we are hearing the same person coming out and telling us about Manchester United and their high standards.

"That was not a good Manchester United performance so, if he thinks it was, then that sets alarm bells off in my head."

Former United midfielder Owen Hargreaves also acknowledged Wright's opinion, but added that the Norwegian could have said those comments as a way of protecting his players.

"You can understand that he would maybe want to protect his players by putting an arm around them because (Jose) Mourinho lost the dressing room by doing the opposite," Hargreaves said.

"But when he said they played really well, who does he mean played really well?

"McTominay was the best player, but he made a big mistake in terms of the ball that leads to the red card.

"(Paul) Pogba didn't play great, (Romelu) Lukaku didn't, (Jesse) Lingard didn't, Fred was poor, (David) de Gea was poor, so to say they played great, they didn't."


Former United midfielder Darren Fletcher added that the defeat is a big blow to their Champions League qualification hopes.

"I feel that United have gifted the game to Wolves tonight," Fletcher said on Sky Sports.

"They started the game fantastically. United's mistakes in two or three incidents have given the game to Wolves.

"This is a bad loss for their top-four aspirations."

United could also qualify for next season's Champions League by winning it in June in Madrid.

But, the Red Devils will have to overcome Spanish giants Barcelona in the quarter-finals, with United hosting the first leg next Thursday (Singapore time).