Ferdinand says Solskjaer should 'hand over the baton' at Man United

Rio Ferdinand calls for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to LEAVE Manchester United: Old Trafford legend says it’s time for his former team-mate to ‘hand over the baton’ after dismal City defeat… and claims he’d ‘leave now with his head held high’

  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under-pressure after a poor start to the league season
  • Manchester United have lost four of their last six Premier League matches
  • Solskjaer joined United in December 2018 and is still yet to win the side a trophy 
  • Rio Ferdinand doubts whether his former team-mate can win United trophies 
  • He believes Solskjaer should leave the club now with his ‘head held high’  

Rio Ferdinand believes that now would be the time for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to ‘hand over the baton’ and leave Manchester United. 

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 a 5-0 thumping by Liverpool and 2-0 defeat to Manchester City, which were both at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer has been unable to deliver trophies to the club since he became manager and is already nine points off league leaders Chelsea after just 11 games this season. 

Ferdinand, a former team-mate to Solskjaer, has been a huge fan of the Norwegian’s since he first became manager, but now doubts whether he can deliver trophies to Old Trafford.   

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is at risk of losing his job after a poor start to the league season

Rio Ferdinand believes now might be the time for his former team-mate to ‘hand over the baton’

With speculation continuing to mount over whether the club will part ways with Solskjaer, Ferdinand has admitted that now might be the time for him to leave the club. 

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.

Ferdinand (right) says Solskjaer could leave Manchester United now with his ‘head held high’

‘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.’

He added: ‘I was always deep down sceptical over whether he could take us on to be champions. I wasn’t sure, I hoped he could be able to do that. 

‘But the showing with the squad he’s accumulated and what I’ve seen this season might be the time now for the baton to be handed over to someone else to take us on now.

‘And I think Ole would leave now with his head held high because because from when he came in to where he got us at the beginning of the season I think it’s been positive.

‘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 tenue 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 watch – 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 5 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 he’s 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? . 

He added: ‘He’s done actually what he’s been brought in to do. He’s come in and give the fans hope again, made the fans want to come back and watch your team again.

‘He’s done that – he’s done a great job in that sense but is he going to take us to win titles? Is he going to make us challenge to win a Champions League? Sitting here I have to be honest with myself and say I think no.’ 

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