Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has dropped Fred for the Premier League clash with Watford – just weeks after Manchester United icon Roy Keane launched an angry tirade at the midfielder
United were swept aside by their arch-rivals in their last game before the international break, with City barely breaking sweat at Old Trafford.
Former United icon Keane blasted Solskjaer and his squad following the abject display – with most of his anger directed at Fred.
The Norwegian has instead moved Nemanja Matic into midfield and reverted to a 4-2-3-1 shape.
The pairing of Fred and McTominay has been slammed repeatedly by fans and pundits alike this term; with Keane making it clear that he thought the former simply wasn’t good enough to play for the club following the chastening City defeat.
“Ole was shook up in that interview. It’s tough for a manager when you’ve got beat in a match and he’s getting asked hard questions but he’s stepped up and he always has and I’ll give him that.
“But if you’re a manager, this morning he spoke about the players being in a good mood in the hotel, whatever the hell they were doing. Have Your Say! Do you think that Fred is good enough for Man Utd? Comment below
“You’re going into a match looking at the bus and [Luke] Shaw, [Harry] Maguire, Fred are there and your job is depending on these guys? You’re in trouble.
“You’ve got international players.
“Anyone who tells me Fred is good enough for United – they’re in cuckoo land.”
The noise surrounding Solskjaer’s long-term future has grown louder than ever despite the recent international break.
Solskjaer has reportedly accepted that he is on thin ice as things stand following the two humiliating performances against Liverpool and City.
And he’s reacted by making changes to his side for the all-important trip to Watford, with Fred the main casualty.
Former Chelsea ace Matic has found himself on the periphery at Old Trafford for much of this season despite United’s constant struggles in midfield.
It had seemed as though midfield outcast Donny van de Beek was in line for a rare start for the trip to Watford, with reports in the week indicating that Solskjaer was toying with finally giving the Dutch midfielder a chance to stake his claim.
But van de Beek has found himself on the bench again for the trip to Hertfordshire with Matic given the nod to partner United academy graduate McTominay.
One player who has survived Solskjaer’s axe is Harry Maguire, who has also been criticised heavily by Keane this season.
But the United skipper has retained his place for the crunch clash after netting in back-to-back games for England during the international break.
His celebrations once again earned him the wrath of Keane – but Solskjaer lept to his captain’s defence and has stood by him again for the Watford game.