Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie O’Hara has blasted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his decision to hand Anthony Martial a starting berth during Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Southampton on Sunday afternoon at St Mary’s.
Making two changes to his starting line-up from the side that had beaten Leeds United 5-1 on the opening day of the campaign, the United boss brought Martial back into the frame at the expense of Daniel James.
Martial’s inclusion in the starting line-up meant a tactical rejig, moving Mason Greenwood, who had started up front against Leeds, out wide and allowing the Frenchman to spearhead the attack.
Solskjaer’s gamble did not pay off. Martial was virtually non-existent for much of the contest and barely had a sniff in front of goal before being substituted after 59 minutes and being replaced by summer signing Jadon Sancho.
Martial has been linked with an exit from United this summer after scoring just seven goals in all competitions last season, but Solskjaer has made it clear that he remains within his plans.
Nevertheless, O’Hara has now heavily criticised Solskjaer’s decision to start Martial at Southampton, insisting the decision to keep playing him is “killing” United and that his involvement will not make the club genuine title contenders.
O’Hara told talkSPORT: “Ole Gunnar Solskjaer playing Martial sums up why I said at the start of the season why Man United are not title contenders.
“With the players that they have got and the team that they have got they should be title contenders, but their manager is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and he is killing them, because Martial was absolutely shocking. He had a terrible, terrible game and his tactical decisions are just ridiculous.
“Do you know the reason why he said he wanted to play Martial? He said he had got a good goal record against Southampton. They beat Southampton 9-0 last season, everyone scored.
“So why are you playing Martial? Play Sancho. You have just paid £72.9million for him. Why are you not playing him? Why are you not starting him? Play Mason Greenwood up top and start Sancho.”