Paul Ince: Solskjaer isn’t capable of doing the Man Utd job and players won’t want to play for him

There’s no character, leadership or desire in this Manchester United side and that comes down to the manager...


There are people suggesting Man United were ‘good’ in the first half against Manchester City. I didn’t see it. At no stage during that game did they look capable of winning.

After what happened at Everton, people expected a response from United, but it didn’t come.

They had one shot on target in the whole game. We can try to come up with a defence for United’s performance but there simply isn’t one. I don’t see it.

You hear all this talk from the players after the results about how they need to improve and they’ll be up for the next game and it means absolutely nothing. It annoys me when I hear players – Paul Pogba is one – and the manager saying: “we worked really hard and ran around”. Oh, come on! I don’t buy it.

Working hard should be a given, You should be working hard and trying to win games.


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We constantly hear about ‘passion’ and, yeah, fans love that but they also want to see their team playing well and actually creating chances on the pitch. The United fans are being let down. They were expecting a good derby match at Old Trafford, a response to the Everton result. Instead, they got another Jose Mourinho performance – the type of performance that he was getting slaughtered for.

A performance like that isn’t worthy of Manchester United. I’m not sure why Ole or the players are trying to kid us that it was. We’re watching Romelu Lukaku crossing in balls to Marcus Rashford – what are they doing? You look at the bench, and you see Ole and Michael Carrick with that wealth of experience and at no point are they on the touchline getting the players going or trying to motivate them.

When you compare that to Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp – it’s unbelievable.


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Ole needs to get over Sir Alex Ferguson – he’s the Man Utd manager now. We’ve tried this nice approach, the stuff about Ole giving the tea lady chocolates and trying to do what Sir Alex Ferguson has done.

That’s in the past now, we need to move forward from that. All of this ‘Ole legend’ stuff – yeah, he scored the winner in the 1999 Champions League final, we get that. But he’s not a legend – he’s the manager of Manchester United.

Regurgitating how he’s going to do it ‘the Fergie Way’ is pointless. It’s doing my head in and I know others feel the same. Ferguson isn’t the gaffer anymore – simple. No doubt he would help if Ole was in trouble, but I’m sick and tired of it, he’s the manager, he has to forget about the past and realise Ferguson isn’t the manager anymore, he is.

I called it, Ole isn’t capable of doing the job and players won’t want to play for him.

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I’m looking at the club and the future really worries me. They’re a long, long way from many teams. Why did those players perform so well when Ole came in and now they’re not? There’s no character, no leadership, no desire, but the manager has to motivate the players too.

These are the same players that were playing brilliantly a few weeks ago.

If they’re not feeling motivated it’s down to Ole to sort that.

I called it before he was made manager and got stick for it, but what I said was right. I want him to be successful, but I don’t think he’s capable of doing the job. It’s a huge rebuilding job. Will the players that are needed to carry it out want to come to Man United to play under him? I’m not sure. It’s different to Guardiola and Klopp trying to attract players.

The fact is, they should’ve waited until the end of the season before they gave him the permanent job. There was no rush to appoint him, but everyone got caught up in the euphoria and was thinking with their hearts rather than their heads.

If you went to the board now and asked whether they should’ve given him the job – I think we know what they would say.

Mauricio Pochettino Spurs v Man City

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Everyone jumped on the Ole bandwagon and now we’re seeing the repercussions. Zinedine Zidane was available at the time and Mauricio Pochettino has always been the right man to take United forward in my eyes. Whether I’m wrong or right, I’m entitled to my opinion.

Man United have lost their identity and everything at the club seems to be in a mess. Yes, they might be profitable because that’s what Ed Woodward cares about, but the football side is a shambles.

Ole needs help, which may come in the form of a director of football, but it’s hardly a surprise the team is in the state it is. The club has given Ashley Young, Phil Jones, and Anthony Martial new contracts.

It’s not easy to get rid of them now and you’re lumbered with them based on the fact they played well for a few weeks. Look at Martial right now, why would you give him a big contract? There’s a big rebuilding job needed, and the club needs looking at from top to bottom.

The fish rots from the head down and that’s what we’re seeing at United.

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