Solskjaer's lack of bravery with United youngsters gets shown up

After 22 years in management, Steve Bruce finally has a win over Manchester United.

That he did so with a poor Newcastle team is embarrassing for us, and shows where United are right now. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to face big questions.

Solskjaer and Bruce both came into this game under pressure. The Newcastle man won the battle of the bosses.

Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images

Making the right call

Newcastle hit their low point last week, losing 5-0 at Leicester. This prompted Bruce to consider his options.


He decided to turn to pre-season star Matty Longstaff, a talented 19-year-old. He stepped up and scored the winner. It was a brave call, and turned out to be the right one.

Solskjaer should have been more open minded too. He had his own version of Matty Longstaff but chose not to consider him.

We are talking about James Garner, 18, who is tearing it up for the under-23s this season with six goals in seven games.

This was the moment to bring Garner in, and give him a chance against a poor Newcastle team. Albeit one good enough to beat us.

Instead Solskjaer did not even bring Garner with the travelling squad, despite including him on the trip to AZ Alkmaar.


Lack of bravery

We wrote before the game that United should consider handing starts to as many as four youngsters against Newcastle. He didn’t pick any.

These were Garner, Angel Gomes, Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood.

Solskjaer chose Juan Mata instead of Angel Gomes, and Ashley Young over Brandon Williams.

Greenwood was brought on for the final 25 minutes with Tahith Chong for the last five. It just wasn’t enough.

Perhaps none of the young players would have changed the game, but Solskjaer is not giving them enough of a chance.

The experienced players are letting United down, and it is time for Solskjaer to be bolder too.

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