Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemed concerningly satisfied with his team’s 0-0 draw against AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night, refusing to be critical of his players despite it being a 10th consecutive away game in all competitions without a win.
United failed to muster a single shot on target in the game, but Solskjaer played down the underwhelming performance by claiming it was a ‘good point’ on the road against a potent opposition in difficult circumstances on a poor quality pitch.
“It’s a good point away from home against a good opponent, a difficult opponent, very difficult surface. They beat Feyenoord 3-0 away from home just now; we made many changes and I’m very pleased,” the United boss is quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.
Rather than address the complete lack of creativity, Solskjaer focused annoyance on the referee’s decision not to award a penalty for a trip on Marcus Rashford.
“Of course, it should’ve been a win. I’m fed up of talking about penalties we should have had, Arsenal on Monday and now. That's a penalty 100 times out of 100, you cannot get that decision wrong in football,” he commented.
But even that didn’t seem to dampen his optimism, as Solskjaer declared, “…there will come a point where these decisions will turn our way.”
United fans will hope he has more of a plan to fix things in the short-term than simply waiting for the team’s luck to change and marginal decisions to start going their way.
Despite the disappointment for fans of yet another more than winnable game not won, there was a silver lining in the performance of home-grown full-back Brandon Williams on his full debut.
Having come off the bench against Rochdale last week, the 19-year-old played the whole game at left-back and will perhaps now give Luke Shaw a run for his money.
Solskajer described Williams as ‘top class’ on the night, telling MUTV, “You’re just so happy for him, you know, he’s got no fear. He’s brave, he wants the ball, he takes people on, he tackles, he’s physical. I'm very happy for him.”