Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has called on the club’s coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to leave the club and ‘hand over the baton’ to someone else.
The Norwegian is under huge pressure following a poor run of form in which they’ve lost four out of their last six games, including an embarrassing 5-0 by Liverpool and 2-0 defeat to Manchester City -at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer has also not been able to deliver a single trophy to the club since he became a permanent manager in March 2019.
Ferdinand, a former teammate of Solskjaer’s, no longer believes he can deliver silverware to Old Trafford.
Amid speculation over whether the club will part ways with Solskjaer, Ferdinand has admitted that now might be the time for him to leave United.
He said on his Five with Vibe podcast: ‘We started this season with such hope but also the transfer window that we had, the excitement, we were all sitting there going ‘this is our time now’.
‘Ole was brought in to get us to that point. He was brought in to get the squad in-tact, get the players in to make us challenge for the league.
‘I sit here now and I don’t think we can challenge for this league. I look at our team every week wondering what are we gonna do tactically?
‘I don’t see any philosophy or identity in the Man United way of playing whatever that should be from the management. I sit here looking confused at the team.
‘I was always deep down a bit skeptical, could he take us on to be champions? I wasn’t fully convinced – I wasn’t sure he could do that.
‘But the showing with the squad that he accumulated, to the beginning of this season – and what I’ve seen this season – I just feel it might be about the time now for the baton to be handed over to somebody else who can take us on now.
‘And I think Ole would leave now with his head held high because from when he came in to where he got us at the beginning of the season I think it’s been positive.’
Ferdinand said one of the big problems for United is that the current batch of players don’t ‘fear’ Solskjaer.
The ex-United and England defender believes every great manager has an ‘element in fear’ about them.
He said: ‘I’ve always said that the trajectory has been slow – not a big spike when you think wow, he’s changed it like Tuchel’s done at Chelsea, but where he’s taken it over his tenure since he’s been here, it’s a gradual increase to the beginning of this season.
‘I look at little details, it’s not just the team aren’t where they should be in the league and we’re not challenging etc, they’re valid points.
‘But when I watch our team and sit there and feel the players aren’t in fear – the intensity’s not right, players aren’t sprinting out and hurting themselves sometimes in games – I see that as a disrespect to the manager and almost like ‘I don’t fear (him)’.
‘Every great manager who has been successful or won things in this game, they have an element in fear. Pep now, Klopp now, Tuchel now, Fergie in my time, George Graham at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger – there’s an element of ”if you don’t do what I say, you don’t follow the rules, you don’t follow the fundamentals that make us successful – you are getting back here and sitting in front of me or behind me on the bench and watching” – I don’t see that fear in this squad. That can’t be right. It ain’t right.
‘I’ve said it before. Do you think David Beckham, a superstar, Ryan Giggs – biggest collection of medals ever to his last day under Sir Alex Ferguson – could ever jog back with no intensity – or don’t push out and not close people down.
‘That could never have happened because they knew come half-time the manager – I don’t care how experienced you are – would be in your face.
‘You’d have phlegm all over your face he’d be that close because he’d be telling you in no uncertain terms ”if you’re not doing what I’m telling you to do – I’ll give you five more minutes and you’re coming off” and you’d be sitting there thinking ”oh my God” – fearful that would happen to you, the embarrassment, the pride, the ego.
‘I still think where we’re in a place where I think if Ole, if he went now, he walks away with his head held high. Will he get a job somewhere else? I think he will. Frank Lampard after what he’s done at Chelsea – he’s been in the frame for a lot of jobs.
‘You can say ‘he’s you’re mate you can’t speak about him and say his time’s up now – but you have to be honest with what you see because if it was someone else I would say it.
‘I don’t get this ‘you can’t say this about a manager’ because people are quick to say it about a player – oh he’s time’s up at a club, get rid of him, he should never wear the shirt again – but you can’t say it about a manager – what’s the difference?’