Solskjaer: Five-sub rule should have been used

Friday 30 October 2020 10:39

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says that he does not understand why the Premier League's clubs voted against using five substitutes rather than three ahead of the 2020/21 season.

When the league returned after the COVID-19 'lockdown' in June, teams were allowed to use five substitutes and name nine on the bench, due to Project Restart's frenetic fixture schedule.
Because the current campaign has also been condensed into a smaller time frame, the games are coming thick and fast again in 2020/21 - especially for teams involved in European football.
In his press conference ahead of Sunday's league match with Arsenal at Old Trafford, Solskjaer admitted his surprise that the five-sub allowance was not extended.
Watch Ole’s press conference in full Video

Watch Ole’s press conference in full

Check out the boss’s comments on Mikel Arteta, Paul Pogba and Arsenal, as he prepares for his 100th game in charge…

“Would I have liked to have seen five subs? One hundred per cent,” said the boss, who takes charge of his 100th United game this weekend.

“And I don’t understand, and cannot believe that the vote went against, because we have to look after the players; we have to think about the players. This season is the most demanding season of all.”

The International Football Association board (IFAB) was happy for leagues to continue using five substitutes for the current season, given the circumstances, but that option was voted down when the 20 Premier League clubs discussed the issue in August.

“I can see the point why clubs voted against,” continued Solskjaer, “but if you take a step back and think about these professional footballers and their mental and physical health, I think the only sensible solution would have been to give us the opportunity to rest players more.

“We’ve already seen loads of injuries in the Premier League, I know Pep [Guardiola] has been talking about it, and other managers. We as managers, as clubs, as medical staff have to look after them. That is why we have to rest players at certain times. So, yeah, I would have liked to have five subs.”

But despite the three-sub limit, Solskjaer revealed he was very happy with the options he has at his disposal from the bench.

Hat-trick hero Marcus Rashford made a huge impact when coming on against RB Leipzig in midweek, as did Bruno Fernandes, and the Norwegian thinks the depth in his squad, and the potential to rotate, gives United a chance in the big competitions.

“At the moment, we are looking like a Man United squad because I’ve got opportunities, I’ve got options for places.

“Any successful team in the modern era of football has had that option to rest players and to rotate.

“That’s probably the only way you can last in this, the most intense league in the world, for me, and also in the Champions League. You want to go for the trophies.”

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