Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho are strong enough characters to shrug off any barracking, and believes the abuse from rival fans could backfire on their teams.
Rashford and Sancho, along with Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, missed penalties in England’s shootout loss to Italy in the final of Euro 2020.
They were subjected to vile abuse in the aftermath of the final, and it has spilled over into the new Premier League season.
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Chants of “Sancho and Rashford, you let the country down” have been sung by fans of Manchester City and Leeds United.
Manchester United boss Solskjaer feels they are strong enough to shrug off any abuse, and believes it could act as a spur in the way it did to David Beckham after he was targeted for being sent off against Argentina at the World Cup in 1998.
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West Ham fans infamously hung an effigy of Beckham from a noose, but it did not deter the midfielder who went on to become a great of the game.
“It’s not just because you’ve done something wrong, it’s also because they’re afraid of you,” Solskjaer said. “That’s probably the case with Becks. He dealt with it in his own way: ‘I’ll show you, I will show character, I’ll prove how good I am.’
That’s the traits of a Man United player and a Man United person, to go through difficult times still knowing that you’ve got your team-mates and your team-mates have your back.
“The way the manager (Sir Alex Ferguson) dealt with the Becks situation was just the right prototype,” Solskjaer said. “Jadon and Marcus are strong characters; that won’t be an issue. We will protect them; I will protect them.”
Commenting on the chants from Leeds fans last weekend, Solskjaer said: “I don’t expect that to happen with too many away fans, or other fans.
“More of them are more respectful and support their country more. You see other clubs’ fans show their support to the players who’ve been brave enough to step up for their country.”
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