Ince: Ole’s honeymoon period is over! A top four flop is not good enough

Former United captain Paul Ince says despite Solskjaer doing well to get to this point, they must finish off the job and secure Champions League football.


In the first few minutes, Man United looked really strong against Wolves, like they could go on to score three or four. Romelu Lukaku missed a poor header, and Jesse Lingard hit the post, really the game should’ve been put to bed then.

When they missed those chances, I felt that Wolves were going to go on and win it. United showed them too much respect in the early part of the game, just because of the FA Cup result recently.

Wolves fought back, they completely lost their heads. They looked jaded, and not strong enough mentally. That’s not what you expect from an Ole Gunnar Solskjaer team, and I’d say he’ll be feeling disappointed.

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That’s two games now where they’ve been far from convincing – against Watford and now Wolves – but it felt particularly bad last night because they’re letting top four slip away.

They need to be picking up results, especially when they’ve still got the likes of Man City to play if they want to make those Champions League spots.

It’s ‘simply not good enough’ if United fail to make top four

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.

The team should be doing everything they can do make top four, and the Wolves result seems particularly poor because of that.

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.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 02: a fan is seen with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Interim Manager of Manchester United’s name on the back of their shirt prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton FC at Old Trafford on March 02, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The Ole honeymoon period is over at United

The honeymoon period with Ole is definitely over. 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.

United face Barcelona next, and then West Ham in the league and it’s crucial that they bounce back from this. That’s what the good Man United teams do, they bounce back.

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Paul Pogba won’t be at United next season

There are players who need to move on if Ole wants to re-build. But also, there may well be a few players who seem to want to move on themselves.

The main culprit of that, I believe, is Paul Pogba. Ole needs to convince him that he’s going to build the team around him going forward if he wants him to stay.

Honestly, I don’t think Pogba will be at Old Trafford next season. Ole’s come in, changed the way he feels about the game since Jose Mourinho left and because his form has improved, the big boys have come calling again.


It’s always hard when Real Madrid come knocking.

But I’m not sure Pogba’s ever settled at United since he came back, and a move could be on the cards.

It’s Ole’s job to do some convincing now, convince players like Pogba and David de Gea that they’re better off at Old Trafford.

Regardless of those names, Fred and Alexis Sanchez need to move on in the summer for the sake of the club and the player. There are four or five players that need to leave if United are to move forward.

Will United make the top four? They’re 17/10 at right now

What do you think?