Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a “panic” appointment as Manchester United head coach, former Red Devils midfielder Paul Ince has said.
Solskjaer, who joined United as a player in 1996 – one year after Ince’s departure – saw his 100th game in charge of the club end in defeat on Sunday, with Arsenal emerging 1-0 winners at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have struggled for consistency since the Norwegian’s appointment as permanent head coach in March last year – after a promising spell as interim manager – and are nine points off Premier League leaders Liverpool in 15th place as things stand.
The defeat by Arsenal ensured United’s worst start to a top-flight term since 2013/14, a season that saw the newly-appointed David Moyes sacked before its conclusion. While Moyes was in part chosen for his role by Sir Alex Ferguson, Ince believes Solskjaer’s appointment showed the club’s board had “panicked”.
“They’ve been inconsistent for a while now, even before Ole took over,” Ince told Ladbrokes. “Then they went on that great run and he got the job. It was hard not to give him the job after that run.
“I do think the board panicked, though. All the fans were singing his name, ordering the club to give him the job and they did. I think they should’ve waited until the end of the season. Let him have it as interim manager until the end of the season then see who’s out there, who the best man is for the job.
“I’m not saying Ole’s not the best man for the job, and getting that team last season into third place was a great achievement. But I look at United now compared to when I played…
“We had a presence. Teams were frightened of us. We already had teams beat before we walked out onto the pitch. Whether it was home or away, teams were frightened of Manchester United. I don’t see that now.
“Teams look at them and think they can take points from the game. We saw it against Arsenal, where United were woeful. We’ve seen Crystal Palace do it. Something’s not quite right.”
United take on Istanbul Basaksehir in Group H of the Champions League on Wednesday evening, with Solskjaer and his players aiming to maintain their perfect record in the competition following a late win over Paris Saint-Germain and a thrashing of RB Leipzig.
United then travel to Everton in the Premier League on Saturday.
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