Manchester United have been criticised for their handling of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking and a lack of forward-thinking over their managerial vacancy.
Solskjaer was dismissed from his role after United’s chastening defeat by Watford, and coach Michael Carrick has been placed in charge on a temporary basis.
The long-term plan is to install a caretaker boss for the rest of the season – but club legend Rio Ferdinand has hit out at the hierarchy for their failure to plan ahead.
Rio Ferdinand has hit out at Manchester United in the wake of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking
A struggling United lost 4-1 at Watford at the weekend, with boss Solskjaer paying the price
It has been reported that even a draw at Vicarage Road may have been enough for Solskjaer to keep his job, and the ‘reactive’ decisions have led to Ferdinand’s anger.
Speaking on the latest Vibe with Five, he said: ‘All of a sudden, the game happens and we lose, and the club make a decision. It’s all reactive. Nothing is prepped. Even the management situation, surely you look at this before?
‘You identify a certain candidate and know. It’s almost like, “oh, this result has happened, we’re going to sack Ole, now we look for someone to come and take charge. We’ll put an interim before the interim, and then we’ll look for a manager.”
Ferdinand (left), speaking on Vibe with Five, has slammed United for a lack of forward-thinking
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is under scrutiny once again after Solskjaer’s failings
‘It’s actually embarrassing. You’re just sitting there trying to protect the club, and you want to be positive, but I can’t. Surely there’s a candidate that should have been identified weeks ago because you could see what was coming?
‘You see the club isn’t performing, you have a two-week international break. It’s the perfect time to start going round and identifying the next candidate. You can’t keep changing the conductor if you do nothing with the orchestra.’
In the wake of Solskjaer’s axing, scrutiny has been placed on United’s ill-equipped boardroom – including Ed Woodward and the much-maligned Glazer family.
And their inability to make the correct choices at the right time has also been savaged by Ferdinand, who believes the club as a whole are ‘flagging’.
Joel Glazer (centre), the maligned co-owner, made the final decision over Solskjaer’s dismissal
He added: ‘Man United have always been a team you associate with being best in class, elite in all aspects of the club – whether it’s the business angle, the commercial angle, also on the pitch.
‘At the moment, it’s everything but that in all of those areas. That is the worrying thing for me. Every area looks like it’s just flagging.
‘Yeah, the commercial area is doing well, but Man United are a global brand so you expect that. In terms of making decisions and being decisive, it’s everything but.’
Breaking ranks from a number of other United greats, Ferdinand called for Solskjaer – his former team-mate – to step away on a high, an opinion he labelled ‘not difficult’.
United’s poor run of form brought an end to Solskjaer’s reign before his three-year anniversary
But it wasn’t until the humiliation at the hands of struggling Watford that United finally pulled the trigger on the 48-year-old, ending his near three-year tenure.
After the decision was made, Ferdinand took to social media to begrudgingly say that Solskjaer’s sacking was ‘inevitable’ after a string of damaging results.
‘Morning guys,’ the player-turned-pundit said. ‘Yeah we’ve woken up to the news the Ole has now left Manchester United.
‘He is no longer the manager. We discussed this in the studio yesterday with Jake [Humphrey] and Coley [Joe Cole] after the Chelsea-Leicester game and this has been inevitable this season.
Coach Michael Carrick (right) has been put in temporary charge during the managerial hunt
‘The way the team have gone backwards since the start of the season after a very very excitable transfer window with some big huge names coming in, it’s not the way we wanted it to end.
‘It’s not the way we wanted it to go. I said at the beginning, it looked inevitable the last few weeks – especially after Manchester United losing at home to Liverpool in the manor they did.
‘Also again in the manner they did again Manchester City. I thought maybe then would have been the time but the international break came and we waited.
Ferdinand believes United should already have had a replacement for Solskjaer in the works
‘Then you think actually he can get things right and it could change again but what we saw against Watford yesterday was terrible.
‘So, I’m not surprised this morning. Disappointed obviously in the way the team has performed. Unfortunate for someone like Ole but it’s the way football goes. It the world of football goes. It’s a cut throat industry.
‘If things aren’t going according to plan, big decisions are made and we saw that this morning. Where they go from here now… we have to wait and see. It’s a waiting game now.’