Man Utd: Solskjaer urges team to use Europa pain to rebuild
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Paul Scholes believes Manchester United’s lack of squad depth can be blamed for defeat in the Europa League final as he urged the Red Devils to learn from Manchester City.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer waited until the 100th minute of the match before making his first substitution of the game, by which point opposition manager Unai Emery had already introduced five players.
Fred was the first player to be brought on for United, followed by Alex Tuanzebe, Daniel James, Alex Telles and Juan Mata later on.
£35million summer signing Donny van de Beek never made it onto the pitch as the Dutch midfielder continues to be overlooked by Solskjaer.
Some supporters may have pointed to creating a lack of goalscoring opportunities for United’s failure to come out on top in Gdansk, though Scholes believes the reason for defeat is much clearer.
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The former United midfielder highlighted the weakness of the United bench as a major factor in the club’s inability to win trophies and suggested the City squad serves as an example of what can be achieved with strength in depth.
“That’s why they’re in the position. This squad isn’t big enough,” said Scholes when discussing Villarreal’s penalty shootout triumph.
“You look at Manchester City, they’ve got two teams, two teams that can win a league. I think United have 11 or 12 players capable of winning the league, but they need more than that, you need 17 or 18, especially in this day and age.
“The squad is not strong enough to win trophies. We saw tonight he had no faith in his bench whatsoever. They brought five players on for almost probably half the game, half the time fresh legs. Ole made them early or late into extra time. There’s no strength in his squad to go on and win trophies.”
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Pep Guardiola’s side have the chance to complete the treble on Saturday when they face Chelsea in the Champions League final.
Reaching the same level as the Sky Blues next campaign is likely to require signings, something Solskjaer was quick to admit is required at the club after ending the season on a disappointing note.
“We are here now, we need to do better, we need to work better, work harder, cleverer. But as I said two or three players to strengthen the starting XI and the squad all together is important for us to go even further,” said the Norwegian.
“Because I’m sure our contenders or challengers will also want to improve and we want to improve as much as we can.”
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