Paul Merson shocked by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man United decision

Paul Merson has his say on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team selection for Man United's FA Cup clash with Chelsea FC

Paul Merson
Arsenal legend Paul Merson (Photo: Sky Sports)

Paul Merson has admitted that he was shocked to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ring the changes for Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final clash against Chelsea FC.

The Norwegian head coach made several changes to his starting line-up for the last-four clash at Wembley on Sunday despite Manchester United having been in fine form heading into the clash.

The Red Devils failed to click into gear during the game and they ended up slumping to a disappointing 3-1 defeat by the west London side, with Chelsea FC now set to take on London rivals Arsenal in the final on 1 August.

Manchester United have two important games coming up in the Premier League against West Ham United and Leicester City as they bid to secure their place in the Champions League for next season.

But former Arsenal star Merson has admitted that he cannot understand why Solskjaer made so many changes to his team when there was a trophy at stake.

Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Merson said: “It’s clear that Man United’s next two league games are more important than the FA Cup semi-final. More important than winning a trophy. I cannot catch my breath.

“If that’s Jose Mourinho, he is playing his strongest team. You win trophies. You are judged on trophies!

“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to win something! If he wins the FA Cup it’s massive for him! There are only a few trophies he can win in a season!

“This is on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He’s not going to be manager at Manchester United for the next 15 years, is he? Sooner or later when he goes on a bad run he’s going to be out of a job.

“That’s football now. When you lose games, you’re out. If he loses his job and he has an FA Cup, he has an unbelievable CV!

“If Mourinho was in Man United’s position [on Sunday], knowing he has Arsenal in the final, he plays his strongest possible team.

“At the end of his career, Mourinho can say: ‘I won this, this, this, this, this, this and this. Oh, and this and this.’

“There won’t be an asterisks next to one FA Cup which says: ‘Oh, that year we finished fifth instead of fourth.’ It’s all about trophies!

“I was flabbergasted at his team selection. I couldn’t believe it.”

Manchester United will host West Ham United at Old Trafford on Wednesday night before they turn their attentions towards their crunch showdown with top-four rivals Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon in their final game of the season.

As things stand, Manchester United are fifth in the table, and they will move into fourth spot if they avoid defeat against the Hammers on Wednesday night.

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