This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

A criticism long been levelled at modern footballers, poor performances and results are never the fault of the players on the pitch, and always something outside of their control. Fabio Capello essentially nailed it on the head, when he suggested England’s sorry displays at international tournaments were borne out of an ‘excuse culture’.

The indoor football skills in the video below have to be seen to be believed…

“When we lost to Germany at the World Cup there were so many excuses — the players were bored, they could not have a beer at night, they could not see their family enough, they could not meet their friends for a coffee. Is it too much to ask for the players to focus for four weeks of their lives when they reach the highest level of their sport? The mentality has to change.”

At Manchester United, the speculation surrounding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s long-term future at the club has given the squad an excuse to slack off and not show complete commitment to the cause. After all, why should they? The Norwegian may be out the Old Trafford exit door imminently, and they would much rather save themselves than drown with a sinking ship.

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Their performances this season have been nothing short of disastrous, but much of the criticism has been aimed at whether Solskjaer is still the right man for the job. The Norwegian’s previous managerial credentials have been questioned, and reports are already beginning to talk about who could potentially replace him in the dugout. Footballers may publicly say they don’t read the papers or follow the news, but they must undeniably be aware of the mounting pressure on their manager.

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Downing tools isn’t exactly a new phenomena in the modern game, but United’s players were questioned about doing exactly that in the final few weeks of Jose Mourinho’s tumultuous reign. And judging by the start to their current campaign, history is simply beginning to repeat itself.


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Vijievan Jeevathayalan