Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man Utd mentor turns up the heat amid Cristiano Ronaldo saga – The Mirror

There’s no doubt that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is feeling the heat in the Old Trafford dugout right now.

The Manchester United boss has seen his side record just one win in their last four games.

Last Saturday’s game against Everton represented a good opportunity for United to build on their galvanizing last-gasp triumph against Villarreal in the Champions League.

But they failed to overcome their resilient visitors, with Anthony Martial’s first half strike cancelled out by Andros Townsend.

It’s a result that did little to appease the pressure that’s piling up on Solskjaer, who also came under for his decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had a tough few days

Solskjaer will be used to that by now – he, better than anyone, will know that the manager of Manchester United will be scrutinised more, perhaps, than others.

But Sir Alex Ferguson’s comments on the Ronaldo saga will be a blow to the Norwegian.

The legendary United manager, who bossed Solskjaer during his time at the club, was captured discussing the decision with Ronaldo’s friend, UFC fighter and United fan Khabib Nurmagomedov, in the Old Trafford directors’ lounge.

“I also think that when they saw Ronaldo wasn’t playing,” said Ferguson, who was interrupted by Nurmagomedov, who said, “He came on in the second-half.”

Ferguson interjected and said: “I know, but you should always start with your best players.”

Ferguson has been one of Solskjaer’s biggest advocates at Old Trafford and has spoken glowingly of him in the past, but his comments will undoubtedly turn up the heat on his former player.

The legendary Scot is by no means the only person with United connections to comment on the matter. But his seeing old boss question his Ronaldo call will certainly sting Solskjaer more than the words of others.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Will Ole Gunnar Solskjaer survive Man Utd’s nightmare run of fixtures? Comment below.

Ronaldo stormed off the pitch following United’s 1-1 draw with Everton
Peter Powell/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Perhaps more worryingly for the United boss is the prospect of others at Old Trafford taking Ferguson’s comments as the first hint of doubt over Solskjaer’s capabilities to restore United to their previous levels of domestic dominance.

If that’s the case, will others follow suit in abandoning ship when it comes to the former striker? It can’t be ruled out. Ferguson still has considerable sway at Old Trafford.

It’s certainly an intriguing development for United, who have just given Solskjaer another huge show of public support by sanctioning a new long-term deal for his assistant, Mike Phelan.

But despite that, there’s no doubt that results at Old Trafford right now aren’t good enough. The onus is on Solskjaer, after being handed a bumper new contract and heavy investment in the summer, to stop the rot.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s comments on Ronaldo’s exclusion have emerged and piled the pressure on Solskjaer

It won’t get any easier for the United boss either as United embark on a nightmare run of fixtures after the international break.

They’re set to face Leicester, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City in their next four Premier League games, as well as Atalanta, who top Group F, home and away in the Champions League.

Solskjaer needs to win a trophy this year, and he knows that a disastrous month in that run of fixtures could effectively kill United’s hopes of challenging both domestically and in Europe.

That would leave him with just the FA Cup as a means of delivering that objective.

But in all honesty, should United struggle through the next month, it’s unlikely he’ll be around in May for that final even if United are.

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