Former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise has turned the heat on Manchester United players, accusing them of lacking attitude and aggression in their recent matches. The ex-Norwegian international questioned the players' efforts in giving their best to the team, stating that the current crop of players lacked the willingness to fight for the club.
'They don't seem to care' - Riise blasts United players
The Red Devils' players apparently lack the desire and willingness to fight for the good of the club
In an interview with talkSPORT, the 41-year-old said: "Look at the aggression, the tightness, the willingness to fight for the club – it’s not there from the players, and that annoys me because like, myself, I was not the most technical player, but at least I gave 110%, no matter how I was playing. Look at the Man Utd players now, they don’t seem to care.”
Riise also deflected some blame off the Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the team's recent bad form. He had some sympathy for Solskjaer, stating that fingers are always pointed first at the manager when things go wrong.
"I do feel for him, as a person, of course, but he’s stepped into one of the biggest jobs in the world,” Riise said.
“And when things are not going well, like they are now, it’s so easy to learn and manage it but, at the same time, I’ve watched the last three or four games of Man Utd and the attitude from the players – you can’t always blame the manager for everything."
The former Liverpool defender drew parallels between the current United team and his former squad at Liverpool which had the likes of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. Riise pointed out that the English duo would never tolerate poor attitudes from the rest of the team.
"Maybe the players are not happy with how training is going, how they play tactically in training what Solskjaer is doing before the games.
“But, at the end of the day, they get paid a lot of money to do the job and to support the manager and to play for the fans. If that happened when I was playing, I know Stevie [Gerrard], Jamie Carragher would just smash us!”
Manchester United have suffered major defeats in recent weeks, losing 5-0 at home to Liverpool on Matchday 9 before another 3-0 home loss to Manchester City on Matchday 11. The Red Devils are sixth on the Premier League table, nine points behind leaders Chelsea.