Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has questioned why Premier League clubs voted against allowing managers to use five substitutions in games this season.
The Manchester United manager, famed as a super-sub in his playing days, was a big advocate of the system that was pushed through as a short-term measure for the closing weeks of the 2019-20 campaign after the COVID-19 shutdown.
He feels it could have helped to bolster the physical and mental wellness of players in the current campaign.
A vote in August saw the league revert back to the system where each team is only allowed to make three substitutions per game, yet five are permitted in the Champions League and Europa League.
Solskjaer said this season should have been considered on its exceptional merits and that “the only sensible” approach would have been to give players every chance of rest.
The Norwegian, whose team face Arsenal on Sunday, said he would have been “100 per cent” behind allowing five substitutions.
“I don’t understand and I cannot believe the vote went against,” Solskjaer said.
“We have to look after the players, we have to think about the players. This season is the most demanding season of all.”
The first? His current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in February 1999 pic.twitter.com/HwwUmQrve8
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) October 28, 2020
Clubs with greater depth in their squads might have been considered as being in an advantageous position had the five substitutions continued to be allowed.
United’s squad is arguably one of the strongest in the English top flight and they regularly bring top international talent off their bench, which may not be the case for other teams.
“I can see the point why clubs voted against,” Solskjaer said. “But if you take a step back and think about these professional footballers and their mental and physical health, the only sensible solution would have been to give us the opportunity to rest a few more.
“We’ve already seen loads of injuries in the Premier League. I know Pep [Guardiola] has been talking about it and other managers.
“As managers, as clubs, as staff and medical staff, we have to look after them.
“That’s why we have to rest players at certain times. So yeah, I would have liked to have had five subs.”