Paul Parker says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was “bullied” at Manchester United, believes the club are a “mismash” and says things will not change until the Old Trafford owners are removed.
Parker, 57, played over 100 times for United between 1991 and 1996 and he was at Old Trafford at the start of Sir Alex Ferguson’s impressive reign at the club. He won two Premier League titles and the FA Cup and League Cup before leaving for Derby County.
Previous to that the former England right-back had played for QPR and legendary boss Jim Smith.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Parker relived one of the ‘Bald Eagle’s’ renowned half time team talks. Smith was a well respected figure who managed the likes of Newcastle, Portsmouth, Derby and QPR before his death in 2019.
“Today, it’s different,” said Parker. “If players decide they don’t like the manager, they don’t play. They tell their agents and the agents run to the owners. And we’ve got owners listening to people who’ve seen something on social media.
“And players sitting there, looking at the manager going, ‘I know you’re not here for long because upstairs they don’t like you’ so when Man United have an interim management consultant in charge, what chance have you got?
“It’s become a conveyor belt. Certain players are just waiting for someone different to come in to see what happens next. Without the stability of someone in charge who everyone knows is the boss, teams are a mishmash.
“United are a mishmash. I can’t see that changing. You’d have to change the owners and you can’t change the owners, can you?”
Poor choices from the top
Parker says former Manchester United managers have been let down by the Glazers. He believes the Americans have not shown the leadership that is required at an elite club.
Alan Shearer recently labelled the club “leaky, noisy and messy” and Parker agrees.
“This is the fifth manager since Sir Alex and they’ve never been backed by the people at the top,” added Parker.
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“David Moyes was let down, although I don’t think the club was right for him. Louis van Gaal’s football wasn’t the best but he was let down. Jose Mourinho, maybe the same but he was his own entity.
Glazers to blame, says Parker
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did really well except he was bullied by the players, dictated to by players playing average or worse. Signing a player (Maguire) for over-the-top and then making him captain wasn’t the best move,” Parker added.
“Some of them have played for at least three managers. Yet the same things are going on. You can see there’s something wrong. It’s not individuals, it’s the collective.
“It’s reminiscent of replacing Sir Matt Busby. You had Frank O’Farrell, Wilf McGuinness, Tommy Docherty, Dave Sexton and Ron Atkinson. Sir Alex was the sixth, and that was when the club was run by a family of butchers.
“Now we have people from outside picking and choosing when they take money out. All United are, really, is the highest-profile ATM machine in world football. Not bad is it? Come in, tap a few numbers and take out millions in dividends.”