FA and Gareth Southgate FURIOUS at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s claims Manchester United told them NOT to call up Mason Greenwood and that he should have been ‘protected’
- The FA and Gareth Southgate are furious at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s recent claims
- Manchester United boss said they told England not to call up Mason Greenwood
- The FA strongly deny the claims and say they had no issues with the call-up
- Solksjaer said they should have protected striker amid Iceland hotel controversy
England manager Gareth Southgate and the FA are furious over Manchester United’s claim that Mason Greenwood was called up for his senior debut and exposed to the media glare against the club’s wishes.
Greenwood was sent home in disgrace from Iceland along with Manchester City’s Phil Foden earlier this month after they were caught inviting girls into England’s team hotel in Reykjavik.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday that United had asked for Greenwood to be left out of the squad so he could rest following his breakthrough season at Old Trafford. Solskjaer is also upset that Greenwood was immediately put up in front of the media by the FA even though United have been careful to keep the 18-year-old out of the spotlight because of his age.
The FA and England manager Gareth Southgate are furious at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s recent claims that Manchester United asked them to not call Mason Greenwood up to senior squad
The United boss says the striker needs ‘managing’ and wanted Greenwood left out of squad
‘The club secretary put a request into the FA,’ said Solskjaer. ‘Maybe I should have got hold of Gareth’s number.
‘He’s not called me after either so next time I speak to him we’ll discuss it.
‘He’s an 18-year-old who needs managing. The kid had a fantastic season and we asked specifically he should have had a rest. He needs it mentally and physically.
‘The first thing that happens is, one, he’s called up and, two, he’s right there in the press. OK, you call him up but you don’t have to put him in front of the world’s cameras. We’ve done what we can to protect him. We had a plan with him throughout the season and it worked really well. This is where he feels at home.’
Asked if the FA need to look more carefully at how they handle young players, Solskjaer added: ‘One hundred per cent. I’m not saying it (the hotel incident) is their fault.
Solskjaer claimed 18-year-old should have been kept out of the spotlight because of his age
‘I’m saying that sometimes you need to take a step back and look at what’s best for the players and I tried.
‘Of course, he’s made some mistakes but it’s us, the grown-ups — we need to make decisions that benefit him.’
Solskjaer’s comments were met with surprise and anger at the FA. Sources say the issue of leaving Greenwood out was discussed as part of the usual dialogue between club and country over a player’s welfare, but they saw no problem with having him in the squad.
The teenager was sent home from England duty in shame after he and Phil Foden broke strict coronavirus protocols to invite Icelandic girls back to their hotel after their senior debuts
They also claimed United were informed out of courtesy of the intention to put Greenwood up for interview and no objections were raised at the time — while there is amazement at the FA that Solskjaer does not have Southgate’s number.
The England manager is also unhappy over the accusations, particularly after he went out of his way to defend United captain Harry Maguire following his arrest in Mykonos last month.
Southgate picked Maguire in his squad for the games against Iceland and Denmark on the day of his trial in Greece because he wanted to show support, before being forced to drop the player when he was found guilty.
Maguire’s conviction was later nullified pending a retrial.