The Manchester United players were warned by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, blasting: “I ‘d rather have a hole in the squad than a * * hole.”
Solskjaer acknowledged that after taking permanent responsibility for United in March last year, he had to deal with “some personal agendas that could not be worked out until the summer.”
Romelu Lukaku sold to Inter Milan during the close season, and Alexis Sanchez shipped off to the same team-although on loan-as Solskjaer started to mold his squad to the players he desired.
Since last summer, there has been ongoing speculation that Paul Pogba is set to leave the club before next season, with Real Madrid and his former Juventus club being constantly linked to the midfielder.
“I would rather have a hole in the squad than an a**ehole,” Solskjaer told the fanzine United We Stand.
“Personality matters so much. In a work atmosphere we are work. You want players to have a little bit of ego and edge but they have to adapt.
“Players were physically exhausted in March 2019, emotionally drained and we’ve had injuries. The players started with pessimistic thoughts, while it’s positive thinking now.
Solskjaer said he started picking up problem personalities when his United side went on a poor form run towards the end of last season which saw them miss out on a place in the Champions League.
The bad form continued into the current season, with United beginning a league campaign in 30 years on their worst start.
Yet Solskjaer and United turned it around, so much so that when the coronavirus pandemic halted the season, the Red Devils were fifth in the Premier League and 11 games unbeaten in all competitions. And the boss says he thinks he’s the right man for most of his playing days to lead the team he’s led.