Paul Ince: Ole should never have been appointed – he’s out of his depth

Incey is not a happy man.


Newcastle v Man United felt like a game where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could turn their season around.

It’s crazy to say it, but it felt like an enormous game, with two under-pressure managers in the middle. We’re only eight games into the season, so to be talking about Man United having to turn their season around is incredible – but, that’s where they’re at.

You’re talking about a side that have just lost 5-0 to Leicester, and it’s embarrassing for Ole that Newcastle will have gone into that game thinking, we’re playing Man United at home, this is a great chance of turning things around and responding to that loss.

That is a sign of how bad things have truly got – they thought Ole’s side were easy pickings, and they were right to.

What we saw on Sunday was a Man United team completely void of confidence, but more worryingly, completely void of direction. There’s a total lack of leadership, quality and character in the team and at the club. All of the things you associate with a United team simply aren’t there.

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Ole should never have been appointed so quickly

I’m not here to call for any manager to be sacked – I’ve been there, and it’s not a nice feeling. But, I will reiterate what I said before and the board should never have made the decision with Ole as quickly as they did.

What had he achieved to deserve that job?

He went to Cardiff and took them down, then he went to Molde. So, what on earth makes the board think that he’s the right man for one of, if not the, biggest jobs in football?

If they’d have waited until the end of the season and assessed the situation, I’m not sure whether they’d have appointed him. All they took into consideration was the excitement of PSG and a few other games.

I can see why they got sucked in, but as a board, they should’ve held their nerve and looked at all their options.

To go from Cardiff, to Molde, to Manchester United… you’ve got to be some bloody manager! I’m looking at his staff, too, and aside from Micky Phelan they all seem so young. Even sometimes when I’m watching the game and I’m looking at the dugout and Ole’s speaking to them, they all seem to have no reaction. They look as if they don’t have a clue what’s going on.

You have to wonder whether they’re just all out of their depth. I feel that Ole is a very lucky man to have got the job in the first place, the board didn’t do their research, and now they’ve got a big call to make.

Either, we’ve got a long-term project and we’re going to stick with him – or if you can’t see what the team are doing, then you’ve got to look at a change. But, the next change has to be someone you’re really going to stick with.

I always felt that Mauricio Pochettino should’ve been the man to take over after Mourinho.

He’s a top-class manager, and people are calling him a risky choice, but Ole was the risky choice.

Pochettino would still have issues, though. He’d need a couple of transfer windows, he’d need to clear out players, but it’s up to the board to decide whether they trust Ole to get the club where they need to be.

I can’t answer that question, but if Pochettino showed interest they would have a lot to think about.

David de Gea’s post-match interview was a disgrace, he needs to be a leader right now

I watched David de Gea’s post-match interview and I was at a loss. He’s meant to be one of the leaders, if that was Peter Schmeichel standing there, there’s no chance you’d have seen that interview. Rather than him addressing and recognising where the team were going wrong, it just felt like ‘I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.’

This is one of the top players, the leaders at Man United, who has just signed a five-year contract! And he looks like he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on.

If you’re a United fan listening to your goalkeeper, one of the main leaders in the team, and that’s the interview you here you’d be right to be disgraced. I’d be looking thinking, Jesus, he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on – I bet he’s regretting signing that contract.

You can’t blame the young players either, and in fact, I wonder how many of those are even good enough really.

You look back to the academy days of Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes etcetera and you just don’t get those kinds of players anymore, especially not all in one group together. So, while it’s unfair to compare them to those, I would also say that some of them are just good young players.

Looking at the youth that played against Newcastle, and being realistic, how many of them will be playing first-team football on a regular basis in two or three years’ time? I’m not convinced.

The club is a total mess from top to bottom – no one has a clue what’s going on

It seems to me that no one at the club has any idea what’s going on.

The club is a total mess.

There are so many things that aren’t right – like the medical team, for example. What’s going on there? Why are there so many injuries, and why is Luke Shaw playing one game then out for seven?

The same players routinely getting injured, so what’s causing that? I don’t understand how these things can repeatedly keep happening, and why the same players keep picking up injuries and nothing is being done about it.

There’s absolutely no leadership from the very top of the club to the bottom.

You’re talking about a Manchester United team who in two games – Newcastle and AZ Alkmaar – they’ve had something like three shots on target. It’s horrendous, and they should be embarrassed.

The goalkeepers aren’t even getting themselves dirty!

It begs the question, what exactly are the team working on in training? What are they doing?

I want Ole to do well, because I want the club to do well, but all he keeps saying is ‘we’re working hard’, but what on? We’ve seen no improvements in the team.

I want to know what exactly they’re supposed to be working on, because I’m not seeing anything.

There’s nothing I’m seeing on the pitch which indicates that the players even know what they’re doing. The entire team has no sense of direction, and they’re letting the fans down.


Man United fans deserve more

You’re talking 15 points behind Liverpool after eight games. Wow. Listen, we knew United weren’t going to be top two or three, but it could be 18 points in a couple of weeks!

To be that far apart is embarrassing and disappointing.

When Jose Mourinho was there we could see that there were a lot of players that were clearly not happy, and we’re seeing that again now. Ole came in and boosted the team momentarily but, right now, the players look completely miserable there.

Man United fans deserve more. They’ll always support the team and club, as we heard and saw from them against Newcastle, cheering and clapping for Ole. They’ll always back their team, but they want to see improvements.

They’ve got to see some progress, something that makes them believe in what’s happening at the club.

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What do you think?