Rio Ferdinand believes public criticism from Paul Pogba after the loss to Leicester suggests there is “underlying frustration” at Manchester United, but he does not expect Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to face the sack.
The Red Devils have taken a single point from their last three Premier League games following Saturday’s chastening 4-2 loss to the Foxes at the King Power, prompting intense scrutiny of Solskjaer’s position at the helm.
Midfielder Pogba admitted the defeat at the King Power Stadium was deserved. But he also attributed it to long-standing issues and a lack of maturity.
Former United and England defender Ferdinand feels the France international’s comments are concerning. He also thinks they “pose questions” about the current mood at the club.
“It doesn’t sit well with me. If I was in a changing room and a team-mate had said that, I wouldn’t be happy, I’ve got to be honest,” Ferdinand told the Vibe With Five podcast.
“I’d be straight in, saying: ‘What does that mean? I don’t quite understand what you’re saying,’ unless I actually agree.
“Pogba’s an honest guy, that’s what I like about Paul. He’s very passionate, wants to win, wants to be the best he can be.
“And that says to me that there’s an underlying frustration within the camp and he can’t hide it. He’s not hiding it.
“Normally you get bog-standard answers (to interview questions) but he’s said a few things there that pose questions.”
United have improved their league position each year since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho in December 2018.
Expectations were high going into the new season following the triple signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.
With United currently five points behind leaders Chelsea, Ferdinand feels former team-mate Solskjaer will remain in the role until at least the end of the season. However, he must win some silverware to continue beyond that.
Ole needs a trophy
“There’s been gradual improvement every year he’s been here and the squad shape and the mould of the squad looks better than when he took over – that’s all perfect,” said Ferdinand.
“This season now is Ole’s squad. This season he will be judged.
“He’s got to go and win something and show improvement again. I think if he doesn’t, he’s going to be on a chopping board.
“But I don’t think the club will have a knee-jerk reaction now. He’s done enough to warrant finishing this season and then see where you are. I think that’s what will be the case.
“There will be people saying: ‘Get rid of him now,’ that’s the culture today.
“I think he will get to the end of this season and then it will be a cut-throat decision.
“Either: ‘Yes, you’ve done well enough to stay again, you’ve stabilised what we’re doing and we’re on that journey still to where we want to get to’.
“Or: ‘We’re now further away than we were before, you’ve regressed, thank you very much, see you later’.”