Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been warned Manchester United will never challenge for the Premier League title as he long as he keeps picking two defensive midfielders.
Fred and Scott McTominay impressed as United eased the pressure on Solskjaer with a 3-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.
While Bruno Fernandes inspired the Red Devils to victory with two goals and an assist, Fred and McTominay protected the defence with more attacking players like Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek on the bench.
The win was much-needed after successive defeats to Istanbul Basaksehir and Arsenal, amid a run of inconsistent form that has cast doubt over Solskjaer’s long-term prospects as manager.
But while Fred and and McTominay performed well, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has warned picking two defensive midfielders is “not the Manchester United way”.
And the former Chelsea striker insisted Solskjaer’s side will not be Premier league heavyweights as he long as he persists with such a formation.
“He did get a reaction. They did play better after Everton’s 1-0,” Hasselbaink told Premier League Productions, talking about United’s response to going behind after an early goal from Bernard.
“I just think that they have problems in the team.
“They’ve got problems defensively and going forward.
“They’re not as good as they used to be. That’s normal because we’re expecting too much from Manchester United just because they’re Manchester United.
“That’s not a Manchester United team is it? Two defensive midfield players, going to Everton where you should have more attacking players on the pitch, especially Pogba.”
Hasselbaink agreed that it was the more prudent move in the short term, but said a United side should be more ambitious.
“I agree with that for now but longer term you cannot have Fred and McTominay in your team to become champions or to challenge for the championship.
“For now maybe the games that he needs to defend the back four a bit better to give them stability but long-term? That’s not a Manchester United way.”