Ole Gunnar Solskjaer labels Rashford and co 'petty & unambitious' for rejecting Man United captaincy

FOOTBALL Ole Gunnar Solskjaer labels Rashford and co 'petty & unambitious' for rejecting Man United captaincy

Mark Kinyanjui 19:42 - 06.03.2024

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has slammed the 'Gen Z' group of players at Man United, calling them cowards for rejecting chance to captain the team during his time in charge.

Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has slammed the ‘Gen Z’ group of players at the club for lacking ambition after rejecting opportunities to captain the team.

Ole worked with several players born after 1996 at the club, including the likes of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Scott McTominay.

Now, the coach, who was sacked in November 2021 in what was a disastrous season for the club, he revealed that players would turn down the chance to captain the side on game days - something most would consider a privilege.  

“No one said "No" to being the club captain, it was just for certain games,' [On whether they said, "I don't want to be captain for this match,” Solskjaer told the Overlap.

“Yes, but they didn't want to say it themselves, they had other people come up to me and say it. It was disappointing. It's a different generation, its Gen Z.

“It's petty and shows a lack of ambition.”

Solskjaer also claimed that many in the squad were unwilling to conduct post-match interviews with the media. 

There were some that he felt able to rely on, including then-skipper Harry Maguire and current armband incumbent Bruno Fernandes, but some players 'worried about the questions'.

The Norwegian added that he felt criticism from pundits and the media had a detrimental impact on his players' mental wellbeing.

“Many players said no to doing the pre-match interviews, the three questions," he revealed. 

“You had the go-tos, Bruno [Fernandes] always did it, Harry [Maguire] always did it, Victor [Lindelof] did it, David [De Gea] did it, Luke Shaw did it. The others were worried about the questions, so preferred not to do it.”

“You're scared of the whole reaction maybe, but you also understand some of the players' mental health.”

United were heavily criticised by the pundits and the media during those dark days, including Roy Keane, who never hid his anger at the players’ attitudes, something Solskjaer has now said affected the squad.

“Definitely, 100 per cent. You criticise players or teams' tactics, but when it goes above that, because there are so many who watch and listen and go on social media [it does have an impact]. If they don't read it, friends, agents, managers will," he added.

“When it gets personal, about character, they listen and think about it more than you think.”