Opening Arsenal Goal ‘Not A Mistake’ Says Solskjaer
Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists that goalkeeper David De Gea isn’t being distracted by talks over a new contract.
Some observers blamed De Gea for Granit Xhaka’s opening goal in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal. Sky Sports commentator Gary Neville even went as far as to suggest that the ongoing contract negotiations may have been to blame for a lapse in concentration.
However, speaking to reporters after the match, Solskjaer absolved De Gea from any blame.
“David is too professional to let his mind wander. The best players, they know how to focus,” he said.
“I don’t class it as a mistake. I’m stood right behind the ball. We don’t put pressure on Xhaka.
“He must be Brazilian because the way he struck the ball and it swerves and moves in the air – it goes towards David’s left and then changes direction completely. That’s just one of those things.”
De Gea’s current deal expires at the end of the season and although he has been offered £350,000 a week by Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward he is dragging his heels over putting pen to paper.
United’s defeat to Arsenal meant the Gunners have leap-frogged them into fourth place in the Premier League table with eight games to go before the end of the season. A top four finish and a place in next season’s Champions League will see Solskjaer automatically offered the manager’s job on a permanent basis. A finish of fifth place or below could mean Woodward and the United board go back to the drawing board.