Manchester United news: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer slammed for ‘schoolboy’ error over penalty-taker confusion


The Red Devils boss continues to draw fire for his failure to pick a designated penalty taker, this time by a former penalty specialist

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to share penalty duties this season has been labelled as ‘schoolboy stuff’ by former England international Matt Le Tissier.

The Red Devils missed spot-kicks in consecutive games against Wolves and Crystal Palace early on in the Premier League season with both Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford unable to convert penalties. 

Following those misses, Solskjaer was forced to clarify that the duo are deciding between themselves who will take penalties this season – a situation Le Tissier believes has been far from ideal. 

“It does cause confusion if you have two nominated penalty-takers and you just go, ‘Well, let’s see who fancies it on the day’,” Le Tissier told The Mirror.

“That’s not professional, it’s amateurish, schoolboy stuff and that comes down to the manager. In that situation, the manager needs to be stronger and just go, ‘Right, you’re the best at penalties, you’re my penalty-taker, if you’re not on the pitch then he can take them, but up until that point, you take them’.

“We had a penalty competition in training to decide who was going to be taking penalties in matches and I won that. I was 20 when I became penalty-taker and there was never any question when I was on the pitch, it was my right and that was my job.”

Le Tissier, who played over 400 games for Southampton, only ever missed one of his 48 career penalties with Nottingham Forest keeper Mark Crossley the man that denied him in 1993. 

Knowing a thing or two about spot-kicks, Le Tissier believes United should give sole responsibility for penalties to Rashford. 

“I was never overly keen on Pogba’s run-up because it used to take so long, it became a bit of theatre and he wasn’t taking it seriously,” he said.

“It was all about trying to promote himself as being the big showman and the big ‘Here I am’ without concentrating on the job in hand.

“The way Rashford takes penalties has been actually far better and if I was the manager he would be the designated penalty-taker.”

The 21-year-old England international did convert a spot-kick in the Red Devils’ Premier League opener against Chelsea before Pogba opted to take and then failed to score a penalty against Wolves, a game his team drew. 

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Rashford had the duties against the Eagles but also missed, as United went down to a surprising defeat at Old Trafford.

United’s troubles from the spot haven’t helped their stuttering start to the season with Solskjaer’s men winless across their past three matches to sit eighth in the league. 

Following the international break, the Red Devils will play host to third-placed Leicester City at Old Trafford on September 14. 


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