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Why Manchester United will be judged by Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp standard in the coming weeks – Omar Garrick

Manchester United's Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks on after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 2, 2021.

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Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Everton prior to the international break left United fans feeling deflated, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men extended their poor run of results to just two wins from their previous six outings.

Despite the absence of club football for nearly two weeks, it’s fair to say that deflated feeling hasn’t gone away. Why? Well, it’s not just United’s poor run of results or a lack of identity that has contributed to the sombre mood, their growing injury list is also becoming a massive concern.

Harry Maguire is currently sidelined after picking up a knock against Aston Villa, with Solskjaer’s original estimation of ‘a few weeks’ on the treatment table looking very optimistic. United fans will be desperate for him to return given the club’s struggles in his absence at the end of last season.

Anyway, not to worry, the difference between this season and last is that now we’ve got four-time Champions League winner Raphael Varane to hold down the fort in Maguire’s absence… what’s that now? Oh, he’s injured as well, is he? Great news.

The 28-year-old was taken off in the first half of France’s Nations League final win over Spain, with the Frenchman also expected to be out for ‘a few weeks’.

Both Varane and Maguire will undoubtedly be huge misses for Solskjaer and the team, but does that mean United’s manager has an excuse ahead of a daunting run of fixtures? One look over at Merseyside rivals Liverpool will tell you he has no excuses whatsoever.



Solskjaer will know United have to improve over the coming weeks

United are preparing for clashes with Leicester, Atalanta, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City, and if they play anything like as poorly as they did prior to the international break then they’re in serious trouble.

Club football hasn’t even returned yet and already some fans are claiming Solskjaer has been ‘let off the hook’ ahead of United’s tricky run of games, with the readymade excuse of ‘I’m without my first-choice centre-back pairing’ in his back pocket should he need it.

However, Jurgen Klopp proved last season that no such excuses should be made.

Liverpool’s title defence was plagued by injuries in the 2020/21 campaign, with Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Ozan Kabak all spending time on the sidelines

Despite numerous setbacks, Klopp’s men dug in and, while a third-place finish probably wasn’t their aim at the start of the campaign, they overcame adversity and retained their place in the Champions League.

Just like you, we can’t get enough of Manchester United! That’s why we’ve decided to supplement our expansive United coverage on the Manchester Evening News with a more fan-oriented platform catered specifically to United fans – United On My Mind.

Writers and presenters who share your passion for the red side of Manchester will be producing written, visual and audio content to reflect the mood in the stands as well as the press box.

Follow our team on Twitter (@MikeParrott_, @GarrickOmar, @Casey_Evans_ and @AnilKandola)!

Are the situations the same? Not at all, Solskjaer isn’t anywhere near having to call upon his fifth-choice centre-back.

Klopp has also won the Premier League and Champions League during his time at Anfield and so, in a way, he had little left to prove at Liverpool – Solskjaer still has a lot to prove at United.

So, anyone who thinks Solskjaer already has an excuse for any poor results over the coming weeks is wrong, and Liverpool’s manager has already proved it.

Does Solskjaer have an excuse for any poor results over the coming weeks? Follow our United On My Mind writer Omar Garrick on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.





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