Manchester United legend Paul Ince has singled out Romelu Lukaku as a particularly poor performer in the club’s defeat to Wolves last night.
The former England international also took to his Paddy Power column to warn that the honeymoon period for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford is now over.
Ince slammed Lukaku for missing an easy header, stressing just how important it is for a big team like Man Utd to be taking their chances in games like this as they fight for a place in the top four.
MUFC now look much less likely to clinch a Champions League spot as they go through a poor run of form, and there’s no doubt a big-money signing like Lukaku will have been signed to fire the club to greater heights than this.
‘Romelu Lukaku had a poor game for someone who’s supposed to be the man in form, he shouldn’t be missing a header like that. And, in fact, at this stage of the season, you absolutely have to be taking your chances, there are no excuses. You have to make it count,’ Ince said.
‘Ultimately, Man United have to be in the Champions League. It’s simply not good enough if they’re not. Don’t get me wrong, Ole has done a fantastic job in getting them to this point, but they need to finish the job off.
‘They cannot afford to be without European football next year. In fact, United should never not be in that competition. No disrespect, but they should be attracting the biggest players and the biggest players don’t want to play in the Europa League.’
As for Solskjaer, the Norwegian recently got the United job permanently after impressing hugely as interim manager.
Ince, however, believes the former Red Devils striker will now be under much more pressure after being given the job full time.
‘The honeymoon period with Ole is definitely over,’ he added.
‘He said when he got the job that now it was time to work. There’s always more pressure on you when you are given the job permanently, than when you’re a caretaker manager, and he knows that he will be getting analysed and picked apart every time they lose a game.
‘The pressure will mount, of course it will. He’s got a lot of work to do and he knows that, and not getting into the top four will cause more scrutiny on him, and that result has made that look like a tough ask. Every team has a dip in form, of course, but now could be the worst possible time to have one.’