Solskjaer's brutal touchline remark to Rashford proves Smalling comments right


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is often seen as football’s ‘Mr nice guy’.

So much so that he has actually had his credentials to be Manchester United boss challenged, with some suggesting he needs to be tougher with his squad.

Teddy Sheringham, a former team-mate of the Red Devils boss, once said of him: “He’s the nicest man in the world. All the managers that I knew that were good had that little nasty streak in them that put people in their place. I can’t really imagine Ole doing that.”

Solskjaer does indeed live up to his ‘nice guy’ billing, which for the record is no bad thing, with wide smiles and polite chat during interviews.

But he certainly has some fire in his belly, which has come to the surface on more than one occasion in the past couple of seasons.



Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is often seen as football's 'nice guy'.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is often seen as football’s ‘nice guy’

In Manchester United’s goalless draw with Arsenal on Saturday night, Solskjaer was watching the action from his technical area when he noticed an area Marcus Rashford could exploit.

“Marcus, he cannot defend!” shouted a fired-up Red Devils boss. “He cannot defend. Take him on if you want!”

It’s not clear who Solskjaer was referring to, although it appears his comment was aimed at either Cedric Soares or Gabriel Martinelli.

Cedric appears the most likely recipient as he was on a booking at the time and playing in an unfamiliar left-back position.



Solskjaer wanted to see more from Marcus Rashford against Arsenal

While the comment isn’t overly fierce, it shows Solskjaer is indeed a winner and can be brutality honest in his quest for success.

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Chris Smalling spoke out about Solskjaer’s often hidden ‘nasty side’ back in 2012, while discussing what every manager needs in order to succeed.

“I think he [Ole] has got that sort of nasty side,” said Smalling. “I think every manager has that, the so-called hairdryer treatment when things need a little turnaround.”

Ashley Young backed up Smalling’s observation, adding: “A lot of people in the press still see him as the baby-faced assassin.



Solskjaer watches the action from his technical area against Arsenal
Solskjaer watches the action from his technical area against Arsenal

“But it was like I said before, when he arrived it was like the boss [Sir Alex Ferguson] had walked back through the door. When he gets down the business, it’s serious.

“At times in the dressing room, he’s had to lose it, and I think that’s right when things aren’t going well. You need to be told that.

“He’s got a nice side and a horrible side, which I feel you need. A lot is said about managers, but it’s down to the players at the end of the day.”

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