Former Manchester United midfielder Lee Sharpe has never been convinced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and has questioned his ability to “get the players up for it” in big games.
Despite looking at one stage as though they might challenge for the title this season, a run of poor results and performances has left them 14 points behing leaders Manchester City – their opponents on Sunday.
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Speaking to Ladbrokes, Sharpe provided a damning assessment of Solskjaer as United boss.
“I have to say I’ve never really thought Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the right man for the Manchester United job,” Sharpe said.
“Yes, he’s done a good job, but I think he’s done as well as he can do, to be honest. The board have backed him, they’ve given him money to spend, but he’d never have been my first choice, purely because of that lack of experience.
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“If you’re one of the biggest companies in the world outside of football, you’re not going to employ someone for such a big role the way United have done with Ole.
“If you look at his experience of the Premier League, he managed Cardiff – then he went to Molde in Norway for a little bit.
“So to then come in to one of the biggest clubs in the world off the back of that record, I think he’s a little bit out of his depth.”
He added: “You can see that in certain games; I don’t think he gets the players up for it.
“I don’t by any stretch of the imagination think you need to manage players by fear, but there does need to be that element of aggression – and it’s something you see all of those top managers possess.
“I hope he proves me wrong; he’s a great bloke and he is doing a good job. I just don’t think he’s the ultimate man for the job.
“When he’s competing against the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, Jose Mourinho, all of these managers that are more knowledgeable and experienced, it’s a tough ask for him.”