Steve Nicol disagrees with Roy Keane over ‘luckiest man alive’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Steve Nicol, Roy Keane and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer look on amid comments on Manchester United's loss to Arsenal
Nicol had his say on Keane’s defence of Solskjaer (Picture: Getty)

Steve Nicol disagreed with Roy Keane that the Manchester United players alone will get Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked and branded the Red Devils manager as ‘the luckiest man alive’.

Solskjaer has come in for hefty criticism following a limp 1-0 defeat to Arsenal at Old Trafford but Keane, his former Manchester United team-mate, shifted the blame to the players.

He told Sky Sports: ‘I judge the players by their actions and I just don’t see it. I never looked at a manager expecting to motivate me, that comes from within.

‘Ole will lose his job working with these players as night follows day – that’s what is going to happen.’

But Nicol, the former Liverpool defender, thinks Solskjaer has to take responsibility for failing to motivate his players who are not in the same mould as Keane.

Asked if it’s fair to absolve Solskjaer of responsibility, Nicol told ESPN: ‘No. Absolutely not.

Pundit, Roy Keane looks on following the international friendly match between England and Wales at Wembley Stadium on October 08, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
Keane defended Solskjaer (Picture: Getty)

‘Listen, what Keane has said it’s hard to disagree with because as a player part of your responsibility is to be ready for the whistle to go.

‘Self-motivation, which Roy is always on about, “I don’t need anybody to tell me to do this or do that”.

‘Well, unfortunately, people like Roy Keane aren’t playing the game anymore.

‘So 100% Ole’s responsibility is to make sure… as a coach sometimes you can smell that the dressing room is flat before a game and it’s part of your job to be able to figure that out.

‘Clearly, Ole couldn’t figure that out. That, in my opinion, is down to experience and spending a lot of time with your players, knowing your players inside out. Know what they’re thinking and how they’re behaving and what is normal.

‘Football players like normal. That’s why we get ready at the same time every week, we put on the right boot first. It’s normal. His job is to spot when it’s not normal.

‘And he didn’t do it and that’s lack of experience. He has to take responsibility for that as well.’

Nicol also believes Solskjaer can consider himself ‘lucky’ that there are no fans entering Old Trafford amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

‘Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the luckiest man alive that there’s no fans in the stadium.

‘Because if there were he would be getting absolutely slaughtered by Manchester United fans.

‘The fact that everybody above Ole likes him and nothing is going to happen while they’re in charge, if there were supporters in the stadium he would absolutely be getting crucified.

‘When the game is finished, you don’t have to go and look at the media, you don’t have to go on Twitter, you don’t have to go on Instagram, you don’t have to do any of that. You can kind of cocoon yourself with the players and the club and everything else.

‘But you can’t hide when there’s a crowd and there’s 70,000 people at Old Trafford and you’re rotten. So he’s a lucky man right now.’

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