Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince says his Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prediction has come true, after the team’s dramatic recent dip in form.
The Red Devils have lost five of their last seven matches across all competitions, most recently suffering a 3-0 defeat at the Camp Nou against Barcelona which saw them exit the Champions League.
Solskjaer’s side are now destined to end the season without a trophy and they are in real danger of missing out on a place in the Premier League’s top four, with only five matches left to play.
Ince, who starred for the club between 1988 and 1995, suggested that the Norwegian should not be appointed as the club’s next permanent manager during the winning run at the start of his tenure and he has been effectively proven right ever since.
United have struggled since Solskjaer was handed the reins and many experts and supporters are now debating whether or not the club rushed the decision when they didn’t need to.
Speaking to Paddy Power on Wednesday, Ince questioned Solskjaer’s appointment and claimed the team has “gone backwards” under his stewardship, as he stated: “It’s a very, very tough job for Ole to take this team forward. People are going to have to be patient because United are miles behind their rivals.
“What worries me is, since Ole’s been named permanent manager, United are a different team.
“They’re playing in a different way. When he was the interim manager they were creating chance after chance, and now he has the job permanently they’ve gone backwards!
“I always said the pressure would be on if he got it permanently. I said this would happen months ago.
“This is why I said what I said at the time – I’ve seen it loads of times that while a manager is interim the mood picks up and everyone feels like they have a chance. But when he becomes the manager, they’re worse than they were before.”
Next up for the Red Devils is a crucial trip to Everton on Sunday, which they cannot afford to lose as they aim to chase down Arsenal in fourth place.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 18, 2019
Only two points separate the two sides at the moment, but United still have fixtures against Manchester City and Chelsea on the horizon.
Ince went on to warn that the club risks a mass exodus if they miss out on Champions League qualification, with top players unlikely to relish the prospect of Europa League football.
“The real test is here, now,” Ince added. “Can this manager and staff get the results to get United to fourth place?
“Because they need to. The top players don’t want to play on a Thursday night in the Europa League.”