A selection of Manchester United fans on Twitter were unimpressed with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pre-match comments on Fred and Scott McTominay.
The Red Devils suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.
They will be aiming to return to winning ways against Villarreal in the Champions League tomorrow.
Ahead of the game, Solskjaer was posed with multiple questions in a press conference, and one of those was on Fred and McTominay, who have been the regular midfield pairing.
There has been criticism from few United fans over Solskjaer’s persistence with the duo in the league rather than handing an opportunity to Donny van de Beek, who is a more progressive midfielder.
However, Solskjaer has backed his midfield pairing and emphasised that the club have had many good results with the duo.
He added that they have been very instrumental from the centre of the park.
He told Manutd.com: “First of all, the stats for them two together, we’ve had many, many good results.”
“The energy they give us, the way we broke up play against Villa. I think they’re very, very instrumental together in that respect.
“Energy and desire. I really like to have the two of them. There’s two I can trust that will always, always give you what they’ve got.”
His comments have not gone down well with some of the United faithful.
Always going on about 100% effort and passion never about how good a player is technically. Can’t see how we win anything with him in charge.
— Sam (@samkidd97) September 28, 2021
Ole, I love you and I’ll back you until the very end but come on, this is ridiculous.
— WHF!?? (@UtdWesleyy) September 28, 2021
They can’t pass forward though, that’s a vital part missing in both of their games
— J.A.O ? (@JuanAnderOnly) September 28, 2021
I think that’s it. They can’t pass forward, so they carry the ball with them and then lose the ball ending up being caught out of position and scrambling to get back
— Vin United (@Iam_vin) September 28, 2021
i ve backed Ole from day one till now, vehemently. 1 more game of McFred and i m done. I ‘m sorry. Pogba and Greenwood on the wing = no width, McTominay and Fred in midfield = no progression of the ball. this system is doomed to fail and its sad cause Ole’s done so much so far.
— Niarra (@Niarra__) September 28, 2021
McTominay and Fred have produced some standout performances for the Red Devils, starring in a few Manchester derbies.
Despite this, there has been some fan criticism of their lack of defensive awareness in particular phases of games.
McTominay and Fred have been fluent with their ground distribution, but it has often been sideways rather than progressive.
There is an option of playing Nemanja Matic, who can deliver quality long balls, but his limited mobility remains a concern.
Van de Beek has occasionally shown that he can be the progressive midfielder, delivering through balls for the attackers.
However, Solskjaer has barely played him in big games since his arrival last summer, which has frustrated some supporters.
McTominay and Fred are widely expected to start for United when Villarreal visit Old Trafford tomorrow.