Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has broken his silence over recent criticism thrown his way by the iconic Red Devils boss – and his former manager – Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Norwegian tactician came under heavy fire over the 1-1 Old Trafford draw with Everton, the team's last match before the recent international break. Despite boasting the home advantage, the Premier League giants were forced to share the points, leaving them with only two wins from their last six outings.
One controversial decision from Ole, the move that sparked anger from large portions of the fan base, was the benching of Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite scoring five time in his first five appearances, including a stoppage-time winner against Villarreal in the UEFA Champions League in their last victory, Solskjaer opted to leave the five-time Ballon d'Or winner out of his starting XI in favor of a Martial-Greenwood-Cavani attacking trio.
Martial did get on the scoresheet but Man United's attack as a whole did not inspire, and their failure to kill off the game ended up costing them. After the match came to a close, the attention quickly shifted to Ole's decision to bench Ronaldo, with even Sir Alex Ferguson being caught on camera criticizing that move in a conversation with former MMA superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov.
"But you should always start with your best player," was what the iconic Scotsman told Khabib when the Russian fighter attempted to defend Solskjaer, and just like that, more pressure was heaped on the under-fire Old Trafford gaffer.
Speaking ahead of Saturday's crucial trip to Leicester, Ole was finally presented with the opportunity to issue a response. Given that Sir Alex was the Norwegian's manager during his successful spell at the Theatre of Dreams, he was never going to lash out at the 79-year-old. Nonetheless, Solskjaer merely gave a diplomatic answer, refusing to give rise to a toxic war-of-words with the most beloved man in Man United history.
"I'm quite relaxed about it," Ole said in response to Sir Alex's opinion, as per Goal.
"I disagreed with the gaffer quite a few times and I told my wife quite a few times that I disagreed with him, but that never made headlines as a player.
"I'm sure Sir Alex knows that it doesn't bother me. We all want to see Cristiano.
"We all want to, because he's unique, he's different, he's had a career and everyone wants to come and watch him. But the plain fact of it is he cannot play every single game that we play, that's just physical nature, human nature.
"He knows how difficult this job is anyway, the gaffer. He didn't always play the same 11. He took some risks at times to rest Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney or David Beckham, the best players that we had. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't."
Man United are set to return to action on Saturday after a two-week pause due to the international break. With only two wins from their last six games, the Red Devils are under tremendous pressure to start delivering an improvement in performance and results. Unfortunately, given that they are set to face Leicester, Tottenhm, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City, and Arsenal between now and the end of November; fans fear the worse for their manager in the coming weeks.