Rio Ferdinand questions if there is a ‘disconnect’ at Manchester United as they continue to struggle to forge their identity under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Pressure on the Norwegian manager has ramped up over the last fortnight on the back of those alarming defeats against bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester City – both at Old Trafford.
As a result, United are nine points behind table-topping Chelsea after 11 games – leaving their Premier League title hopes in tatters already.
Solskjaer was on the receiving end of widespread criticism from pundits and supporters in the aftermath.
However, his star-studded team have not been spared, either, as footballer-turned-media figure Ferdinand shares his best guess as to the cause of United’s current situation.
On the latest episode of his popular Vibe With Five podcast, Ferdinand said: “I don’t doubt these players look at themselves and ask what more they can do. The players have to take that responsibility, as well, but they have to be guided. They have to be put in a position to try and execute and win.
“That’s where I feel there is a problem, there is a disconnect. It doesn’t look, to me, the players look around to each other as if to say; ‘What do we do’? Liverpool, no answers. City, no answers.
“You look to your manager for answers. David Moyes. I’m looking at him for answers. We had intense meetings, he will tell you think, we had times in meetings where people were almost fighting, pulled apart.
“Is that same energy in this changing room? Is the culture the same now? I don’t know. The manager has got to find a way of getting the best out of players. But you have to understand, as well, it was different in my time. It’s not fair to compare, we had continual winners in our changing room.”
“I don’t know what we are and it just baffles me. It frightens me, it scares me, it angers me. All those emotions come into it. I look at it and think, if I was in that changing room, I would be pulling my hair out.
“I knew this from my time and only realised this when Sir Alex Ferguson left. He drove the ship. He decided when we went right, when we went left. You don’t realise that until he’s gone.
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“You need someone to lead the ship, you need a designated driver. At the moment I don’t see it. I keep going back to it, but I don’t see an identity and I don’t see a philosophy. I don’t seen an intensity in this team that suggests this to me, that there is someone that’s put the hat on and gone; ‘Follow me, this is it, this is what we’re about’.”
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