Manchester United suffered a 3-1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday and Patrice Evra feels Solskjaer is protecting his players too much.
United fell behind to an early goal by Andros Townsend before Wilfried Zaha doubled the lead for Palace. Donny Van de Beek came off the bench to score, but a second Zaha goal finished the scoring.
And, there were question marks over Solskjaer’s starting lineup, with Daniel James starting ahead of Mason Greenwood and Fosu-Mensah playing at right-back instead of Wan-Bissaka.
But, it was Van de Beek’s omission from the team which Evra feels was a huge mistake and Solskjaer should have been more willing to take a risk on the midfielder.
The game was Crystal Palace’s second of the Premier League campaign, while it was United’s first, which was one reason for their intensity, but Evra feels that noy an excuse for his former team.
‘Crystal Palace have an advantage, they’ve played more games, but it’s not an excuse for a big club like Man Utd,’ Evra told Sky Sports.
‘That won’t work for the fans, especially with what’s happening with the transfer window and negativity around the club.
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‘The United fans are really down today and really worried about what’s coming next.’ Evra recalled his own United debut, which saw him substituted at half-time against Man City in a 3-1 loss.
‘We don’t know why Van de Beek doesn’t start the game,’ continued the Frenchman.
‘I remember when I joined United, I trained for three days and played the derby game against Manchester City, but it was a disaster. But actually [Sir Alex] Ferguson didn’t get the blame to start me.
‘I feel like Ole is sometimes protecting his players too much. He thinks, “Van de Beek just arrive so I know everyone is excited.” Play him!
‘If he plays bad, at least people will criticise Van de Beek and not Ole, but now they’ll ask why he didn’t start him. ‘Sometimes you shouldn’t protect your players.’
Solskjaer explained the decision to leave Van de Beek on the bench before the game, in which he started Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay in midfield.
‘Paul [Pogba] has been training really well since he came back and Donny, it’s his first game. Of course we want him to play as much as he can, but he’s getting into the groove and that’s the decision today,’ he said.