Ferdinand pulls U-Turn on Solskjaer sack; lodges damning ‘disrespect’ claim at Man Utd stars

Date published: Tuesday 9th November 2021 1:16 - Steve Pearson

Rio Ferdinand, BT Sport

Rio Ferdinand has finally revoked his unwavering support for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United boss, and lodged a damning “disrespect” claim at the club’s players.

Despite landing three bona-fide superstars in the summer, few could argue against the notion that Manchester United have regressed this season. The arrivals of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo were expected to take United to the next level. Instead, their indifferent form and lack of cohesion has put Solskjaer under more pressure than ever before.

Dismal defeats to bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester City sunk Solskjaer’s standing to a new low. Nonetheless, United have shown no indication they are willing to sever ties with the Norwegian.

Indeed, Sky Sports recently reported the Red Devils have ‘no plans’ to axe Solskjaer.

Solskjaer has retained the support of the vast array of former United stars in the media. The likes of Roy Keane, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville all played alongside Solskjaer in their playing days and all hold prominent pundit roles with BT or Sky.

The quartet have often laid the blame for United’s woes everywhere but the manager’s door. However, that has now changed.

Speaking on his FIVE YouTube channel, Ferdinand spoke of it finally being the right time to “hand the baton over” to a new manager. In doing so, he outlined precisely what United lack under Solskjaer, and damningly claimed the boss does not hold the respect of his players.

“He’s done actually what he’s been brought in to do,” said Ferdinand. “He’s come in and given the fans hope again, made the fans want to come back and watch your team again.

“He has done that. He has 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?

“You need the foundations that have been built to fall back on when you are lacking that confidence. When you’re thinking a five, a 10-yard ball that is normally easy becomes a difficult ball – the foundations get you through that. We (United) ain’t got that.

“The football club will be living here and breathing here longer than any individual. It’s what’s best for this football club.

“I just feel that maybe it might be time now for the baton to be handed over. Who can take us on now? And I think Ole would leave now with his head held high.”

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Man Utd players don’t respect Solskjaer – Ferdinand

The former centre-half then claimed United lack a clear plan and style under Solskjaer. After their defensive frailties were ruthlessly exposed against Liverpool, Solskjaer switched to a three-man backline. However, Scholes slammed that decision, and labelled one star as a “useless” fit for the system.

Furthermore, Ferdinand suggested the players’ reluctance to bust a gut on the pitch shows Solskjaer does not command their respect.

“I don’t see a philosophy, I don’t see an identity,” continued Ferdinand. “When I go and watch my team, if they get beaten, that’s fine. It happens.

“But I want to see what they are about. What are you? Players aren’t sprinting out and hurting themselves in games.

“I see that as a disrespect to the manager and almost like, ‘I don’t fear [Solskjaer]’.”

READ MORE: Controversial plan revealed to hand Ed Woodward new Man Utd role

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