There’s a lot of things that aren’t right at Old Trafford at the moment, and they need to be addressed. I don’t know where United are going as a club.
From a football point of view, I expected an in and out season, I could’ve accepted that – but I would’ve anticipated the performances would be so much better.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows they’re not going to win the title this year, or next. It could be five years before they do.
I believe that the only chance they have in the near future is if Klopp and Pep leave Liverpool and City. Whether Ole will still be in charge by then, who knows.
This season, again, will be a transitional year. I’m not disappointed or angry about that, it’s just where they are as a team at the moment.
The results are going to be up and down and I’m prepared to accept that, as long as they challenge for the top four.
I’m more concerned about the Director of Football situation, and the way Ed Woodward is building the club.
He is rightly getting a lot of stick – people who appoint managers should be made accountable. For the results, for the structure of the club, for the recruitment, and so on.
They knew they were going to lose Lukaku, and it was obvious Sanchez had to move on, so why the hell have they not got a striker or two in?
You can’t be reliant on Marcus Rashford at this level to score you goals every game. He’s fantastic, but he’s young and still learning.
Plus, he only scored 13 times last season – so why did they think he’d go and get 25 this year? United just haven’t got goals in the team, they struggled against a poor team in Astana, and against West Ham didn’t create anything.
Ed Woodward isn’t a football man, he’s a money man. From that perspective, I’m sure he’s doing a great job – but the fans don’t give a toss about the money if it isn’t being invested back into the team.
They want Manchester United quality players on the pitch, to be entertained, to be winning things, and they’re not getting that.
It doesn’t look like a Man United team any more.
The fans at United are unbelievable, they’ll get behind the team no matter what. But they deserve so much more.
A Director of Football is needed
It’s not about me, Rio, or Gary Neville, pundits who sit on the couch analysing football on TV. That’s not about knowing the game.
What United need is someone who knows where to find Manchester United players, where the hidden gems are, and how to get them.
Currently, United are being held to ransom.
Harry Maguire is a terrific player, but £80million? They’re being forced to pay over the odds to get top players.
What they should be doing is identifying these talents earlier, doing proper research, and getting them for a lot cheaper.
That’s not down to one person to do, it’s about the Director of Football and their team – United probably need to hire four or five people who can go out and start building blocks.
It might take a year or two, but at least they’d be moving forwards.
They also need to look at Ed Woodward, what his position is, and what he’s doing to get the club going in the right direction.
#OleOut is unfair
I said last year to Paddy Power – and got ridiculed for it – that Ole shouldn’t have got the Manchester United job at the stage he did. I stand totally by that comment.
Everyone got sucked in to the start he’d made, without looking at the fixtures they had. It’s a result-based business, and that’s fine, but you can’t ignore performances.
Remember the Tottenham game where they won 1-0, but could’ve lost by five or six if it wasn’t for David De Gea? That said to me, they were miles away.
Now, though, having decided he’s the man, giving him a long-term project and buying into his vision, they have to stick with him.
Irrespective of whether they win or lose at the weekend, he’s their man.
There are no two ways about it, they’ve made their bed, and right now they’re lying in it.
They can’t be sacking their manager and abandoning the strategy, based on a few results.
United will win games, people will get excited again, then they’ll lose and it’ll be back to crisis mode.
They’re the biggest team in the world, they’ll be on the back pages no matter what. That’s what comes with being a Manchester United player or manager.
But, they no longer have that presence in terms of intimidating opponents.
Teams know they can get something from them now, even at Old Trafford. Right now, United are vulnerable.
Chelsea already have a clearer vision
I think of Ole in the same way as I do Frank Lampard. Two young managers lacking experience, who have been thrown into two massive clubs.
But, if you gave me the choice of who I’d rather be watching this season, it’d be Chelsea all day long – and that hurts me as a former United captain.
At least when I look at Chelsea, I see what they’re trying to do, the way they play, their identity – they’re pressing high, getting tight, and creating chances. They can only get better.
Can anybody tell me what United are trying to do? Because I have no idea.
They’re so reliant on the young lad Daniel James – who is brilliant, but was in the Championship with Swansea last season – it’s crazy.
There’s nobody else there that excites me.