EPL

Solskjaer should leave struggling Man Utd – Ferdinand

By Sports Desk November 08, 2021

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should hand over the baton and leave Old Trafford, according to former defender Rio Ferdinand.

Solskjaer is under mounting pressure after United were outclassed 2-0 by neighbours Manchester City in Saturday's Premier League derby, having been humiliated 5-0 at the hands of Liverpool last month.

United have lost four of their past six games as the Red Devils already find themselves nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea heading into the international break.

Solskjaer is yet to deliver a title since he became permanent United manager in March 2019 and ex-team-mate Ferdinand believes it is time for the Norwegian to move on.

"We started this season with such hope but also the transfer window that we had, the excitement, we were all sitting there going 'this is our time now'," Ferdinand – who won six Premier League trophies and the Champions League during his time at United – said on his Five with Vibe podcast.

"Ole was brought in to get us to that point. He was brought in to get the squad in-tact, get the players in to make us challenge for the league.

"I sit here now and I don't think we can challenge for this league. I look at our team every week wondering what are we gonna do tactically? 

"I don't see any philosophy or identity in the Man United way of playing whatever that should be from the management. I sit here looking confused at the team.

"I was always deep down a bit sceptical, could he take us on to be champions? I wasn't fully convinced – I wasn't sure he could do that. 

"But the showing with the squad that he accumulated, to the beginning of this season – and what I've seen this season – I just feel it might be about the time now for the baton to be handed over to somebody else who can take us on now.  

"And I think Ole would leave now with his head held high because, because from when he came in to where he got us at the beginning of the season I think it's been positive."

United are now without a clean sheet in their last 14 home games in all competitions – they have only had one longer run in their entire history without a home clean sheet, a 21-match run between April 1958 and March 1959.

Solskjaer's United have lost eight home matches in all competitions in 2021, their most in a calendar year since losing eight in 1989.

United have conceded 11 home Premier League goals in six fixtures Old Trafford this season, their most in their first six home league matches of a season since 1976-77 (also 11).

Meanwhile, United have taken just eight points in their last nine home Premier League matches (W2 D2 L5) and have lost consecutive home league matches without scoring for the first time since March 2014, when those defeats also came against Liverpool followed by City.

Related items

  • Trippier confirms Man Utd interest and hopes Simeone tries his hand in England Trippier confirms Man Utd interest and hopes Simeone tries his hand in England

    Kieran Trippier has confirmed he attracted "strong interest" from Manchester United last year before returning to the Premier League with Newcastle United.

    Trippier swapped a LaLiga title defence with Atletico Madrid for a relegation battle with Newcastle this month, with the England full-back joining Eddie Howe's side for a reported fee of £12million.

    The 31-year-old spent two-and-a-half seasons at Atleti after leaving Tottenham in 2019, helping Diego Simeone's side clinch a LaLiga title last year.

    There were reports since early in 2021 that Trippier wished to return to England, and United were heavily linked.

    Trippier has now confirmed that United and Atleti held discussions before the 2021-22 season, after England's run to the final of Euro 2020, but the potential move broke down over the Spanish club's demand that his release clause, reported at around £50m (€60m), was met.

    "After the Euros, there was really strong interest," Trippier told Newcastle great Alan Shearer in an interview with The Athletic.

    "I've got to be careful what I say because I don't want to get into trouble, but yeah, there was interest. We had conversations, but Atletico Madrid just wanted my release clause and it was a lot of money for a 30-year-old, so I understand why Man United didn't do that.

    "There were other clubs interested too. Anyway, it's gone now, so it doesn't bother me."

    Trippier hopes Simeone, who has established himself as one of world football's leading coaches during his decade-long stint at Atleti, follows him from LaLiga to the Premier League.

    "I'd love to see him working in England. I know he was learning English about a year ago, and his partner speaks English," Trippier said.

    "The thing about Simeone is that because he's so passionate when he's talking in the dressing room, I think it would get to him if he wasn't completely fluent. But I would love to see him in the Premier League. I think everyone would."

    Simeone's pragmatic approach has sometimes come in for criticism, but there can be no doubting its success.

    "It's a bit unfair, because Simeone has been so successful. He's won eight trophies," Trippier added, before referring to a comment Jurgen Klopp made about Atleti not playing "proper football" after Liverpool's defeat to Los Colchoneros in the 2019-20 Champions League knockout stage.

    "I understand where Klopp is coming from, but if you're playing at Anfield you can't go toe-to-toe with [Liverpool] because you'll get punished.

    "Everybody has their own system or set-up and Simeone's is different. It's worked for him."

    Trippier's decision to leave Tottenham came after Mauricio Pochettino's side had reached the 2019 Champions League final, losing to Liverpool - ironically, at Atleti's Wanda Metropolitano stadium.

    The former Burnley defender enjoyed a fine 2018 World Cup, but felt his form dropped off slightly afterwards. However, he also hit out at Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who he claims was engineering a sale while the season was ongoing.

    "f you look back to the last few months of my Tottenham career, I admit that I wasn't at the levels that I was at the World Cup and there's no excuse," he said.

    "After the Champions League final, it felt like the right time to move on.

    "What annoyed me, I know 100 per cent for a fact – and this is what I was most angry about – that two months before the end of the season, Daniel was offering me to other clubs.

    "I knew for certain that was happening, so I knew my time there must be up. I was playing for my team-mates and the supporters, but I also knew I wasn't wanted."

  • 'Vlahovic will bring the goals Juventus need' – Tardelli 'Vlahovic will bring the goals Juventus need' – Tardelli

    Dusan Vlahovic will bring the goals that Juventus have been missing this season, according to Marco Tardelli.

    Tardelli, the former Inter, Juventus and Italy midfielder, has no doubt Vlahovic - who seems set to join Juve from Fiorentina before the end of the transfer window - will be a success in Turin.

    Juve have struggled in attack this season, scoring just 34 times across 23 matches. That ranks them 11th in Serie A for goals scored, way behind Inter's league-leading 53. Their issues were on show for all to see on Sunday, when the Bianconeri managed just eight attempts against Milan, with none hitting the target in a 0-0 draw.

    Vlahovic has scored 17 league goals for Fiorentina this term in 21 appearances. In 2021, the 21-year-old equalled the record set by former Juve star Cristiano Ronaldo for the amount of Serie A goals scored in a calendar year with 33.

    "An important purchase. He has the qualities Juventus need. He will bring Max [Allegri] the goals Juve missed," Tardelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

    "You can see that he has something special even when he doesn't score, he is one who also plays for the team.

     

    "He has shown personality. He will improve even more thanks to his new team-mates, he can score more.

    "Will he feel the pressure? You never know the reaction upon joining a great team, but playing with higher-level people usually helps you."

    The Serbia international seems set to be Serie A's latest posterboy, but Tardelli does not believe Vlahovic can yet be compared to some of the league's greatest players.

    Tardelli added: "No to comparisons. I read about [Christian] Vieri, [Gabriel] Batistuta.

    "Not that [Vlahovic] has little talent, but they are players with another physical strength, who have more to rely on than he does."

    Allegri has consistently ruled Juve out of the title race this season. The Bianconeri sit fifth, a point behind Atalanta in fourth but 11 adrift of leaders and champions Inter.

    Tardelli says Juve need to strengthen in other departments to became a real force once again.

    "There is also a need for more, especially in midfield," he said. "Someone has to lend a hand to [Manuel] Locatelli. For next year, somebody must also be found for the defence, some changes must be made.

    "[Giorgio] Chiellini can't be eternal, I don't think they trust [Daniele] Rugani very much."

    Key to providing the ammunition for Vlahovic for the remainder of this season will be Paulo Dybala, who is yet to sign a new contract with Juve – his deal runs out at the end of the campaign.

     

    Tardelli believes Dybala must step up, despite the Argentina international being Juve's top scorer in all competitions this term with 11 goals, while nobody in the squad betters his 15 direct goal contributions.

    "One player like him is never too many," Tardelli said of Dybala. "Contractual issues will be dealt with, but he must prove that he is worth what he asks for.

    "Lately he has not been the leader Juventus needed. Too inconsistent. I don't know how much he was affected by COVID and how much by the renewal issue."

  • Australian Open: Collins relishing 'spectacular' final showdown with Barty Australian Open: Collins relishing 'spectacular' final showdown with Barty

    Danielle Collins is relishing a "spectacular" Australian Open showdown with home favourite Ash Barty after outclassing Iga Swiatek to reach her maiden grand slam final.

    Collins was imperious in her second major semi-final on Rod Laver Arena, taking just an hour and 18 minutes to beat Swiatek 6-4 6-1.

    The 28-year-old American's emphatic victory was her second over a top-10 opponent in a grand slam.

    Collins was relentless as a struggling Swiatek had no answer to her aggressive approach, and the 27th seed will attempt to tear up the script by denying Barty a first Australian Open title on Saturday.

    It was only last April that the Florida native underwent emergency surgery for endometriosis, an extremely painful condition in which tissue similar to that which lines the uterus grows outside of it.

    Collins was also diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2018, but she has broken new ground for her career at Melbourne Park, dropping only two sets en route to the final.

    She said in an on-court interview following the win over Swiatek: "It feels amazing. It's been such a journey, and it doesn't happen overnight. So many years of hard work and hours at an early age on court.

    "Yesterday I was talking about all the early mornings my dad would get up with me and practise before school. It's just incredible to be on this stage and especially with the health challenges. I'm just so grateful, and I couldn't be happier."

    Collins beat world number one Barty to reach the Adelaide International quarter-finals last year, having lost their previous three meetings, and the world number 30 will embrace such a big occasion this weekend.

    She said: "We've had some incredible battles over the years. It's going to be really spectacular, with the energy the fans bring, whether they are for me or for my opponent.

    "I think we're just so grateful after everything with COVID to have incredible energy and people here supporting us."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.