Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may feel that when it comes to squad depth, he can’t win.

The media are quick to pile pressure on Solskjaer whenever a particular player does not get sufficient game time and turn it into a big deal.

The Times ran a report ahead of the midweek game entitled, ‘How Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handles bloated squad will make or break Manchester United’s season’.

So it is understandable Solskjaer wanted to use the game to get his fringe players up to speed.

Manchester United v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Third Round
(Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images)

The result worked out poorly with United going down to a 1-0 home loss to West Ham.

Former United winger Gordon Hill thought poorly of Solskjaer’s team selection which involved 11 changes.

He urged Solskjaer to be more ruthless with his selection decisions in future.

Make winning a priority

Solskjaer appeared to get his priorities wrong against West Ham last night.


His number one objective was to give his fringe players game time. And to that degree he can say he did what he wanted to.

But it is little use if they lose and don’t get the opportunity to play in the next round.

Solskjaer’s second priority was to win the game. Any time this is not the top objective, the team is likely to come unstuck.

Winning always has to be the top priority and Solskjaer was too complacent in expecting his stand-ins could get the job done.

Manchester United v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Third Round
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

A better balance should have been achieved, or if you are going to go for an experimental line-up, be bolder and include a couple of youngsters like Anthony Elanga or Hannibal from the start.

Solskjaer is ‘cut throat’ in his league team selections, usually picking his strongest side and rarely rotating.

For better or worse, there are no more domestic cup matches to cloud his judgement until January.

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