Nobody understands the importance of strength in depth better than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Norwegian was one of four reliable strikers in Manchester United‘s legendary Treble-winning squad.
While Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke were the first choice up front, Alex Ferguson knew he could shuffle his pack, start Solskjaer or Teddy Sheringham in certain games and still achieve the desired result.
Now, as Solskjaer strives to bridge the gap that has opened up between United and their rivals Liverpool and Manchester City, a lack of strength in depth is becoming a concern.
United’s first-choice XI looks pretty settled. Solskjaer has fielded them in the Premier League since the resumption to great effect – United have dropped just four points from 21 available.
What’s more, there have been signs that Solskjaer’s United are beginning to look like Ferguson’s United in the way they commit numbers to attack and counter with speed and precision.
But scratch beneath the surface and it’s painfully obvious that United are thin on the ground when it comes to top-class performers.
When Solskjaer has rotated his squad for the FA Cup matches, these flaws have been exposed and it was really no surprise that Chelsea got the better of them at Wembley last Sunday.