United 1 Arsenal 1: Ole's press conference
The subject of VAR and if the linesman should have raised his flag dominated Ole's post-match press conference...
Ole, do you think your players stopped when the linesman’s flag went up? “Ashley certainly holds his hand up because he’s looking at the linesman and maybe hesitates a little bit. Maybe he could have put a block in - that probably would have helped David, but it’s no consolation for us now because it’s a perfectly good goal for them. He probably should have kept the flag down.” Do you think that’s a problem because the Premier League have deviated from the rules of the Champions League and other European leagues, that the linesman still puts his flag up. Would it be better to just let the action play out? “It made an impact on the situation by raising the flag. When its that way you could wait and then do it later. When it’s the handball that we could/should have had, make a decision and then take it back. But that’s up to the referee.” Do you think you should have had a penalty? “There was a handball shout - it’s like loads of the penalty decisions that if the referee doesn’t make it you can’t really go back and have it. But it’s a work in progress. I’m for the right decisions and they definitely deserved their goal today. Normally we see you quite calm in the first half, just observing, but this time you seemed much more active. What was the thinking behind that and what did you want to change? “I thought first 15-20 minutes we could have been more direct and positive. The first time Andreas turns and drives at them we create chances. We had a good shot blocked - I just wanted the boys to grasp the moment because I feel in the first half we controlled it and dominated but didn’t really create enough. At times you sit down and others you just get that feeling. You’ve scored more than one goal in three of the last 21 games, so how get them to be clinical? There seems to be a reoccurring theme of them not scoring enough goals. “It’s another game that we’re 1-0 - we were 1-0 up against Southampton and against Wolves - we need to learn to win these games and that’s part of the learning. In our six young players from the Academy, Mason comes up on and that’s a big plus for us. We know this team are going to be improving and I thought we saw some excellent performances: Scotty, Andreas. You can see Axel is going to be a top player. There are some very positive things.” Is that a confidence issue that once they’ve scored there doesn’t seem to be another gear? “No, there’s another gear. We didn’t come out of the block in the first 15 minutes of the second half. We gifted them the initiative and after they scored the response was fantastic. I thought we put the game to them and dominated. Of course, they’re a good team counter attacking, so they created some chances through counter attacks. But I thought we responded excellently.” What was the thinking about putting Axel at left-back tonight? “I think that showed by him playing well against Pepe. I think Pepe is a threat and Axel did really well. We’ve had a few injuries and illnesses, so that was my decision when Aaron wasn’t fit to play.” Ole, nine points from seven games is the club’s worst start in the league in 30 years. What makes you confident you can turn this situation around? “There are many things that we can look at and many things that give me loads of confidence. We can talk about performances but it’s the results that matter. You can talk about results, I can talk about the six out of seven games that were good performances. West Ham was below part but not as bad as you lot made it out to be. Were Pogba and Rashford both fully fit? “Yes, both fully fit.” On Marcus’s performance, he did seem to duck out about when he was through against Sokratis and then against Luiz. What did you think of those situations? “You’ve got to make a decision there and then. Marcus makes defenders fear him with his pace. Sometimes he trusts his finishing and his shots - today he went for a shot, maybe another time he’ll take him on. It depends on what he feels is right there and then. There were loads of good things. I’m disappointed with one point, probably because we were winning 1-0. But, then again, both teams probably didn’t deserve to lose. How far away is Martial? “Maybe the weekend but if not after the weekend. Definitely not Thursday.” Will Wan-Bissaka be back? “I’m not sure.”