Rio Ferdinand EXCLUSIVE: Manchester United would be ‘naive’ to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, claims Red Devils legend


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Rio Ferdinand has told talkSPORT that Manchester United would be naive to sack struggling manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Red Devils have suffered their worst start to a league campaign for 30 years and currently sit just two points above the relegation zone.

Reports suggest Solskjaer could pay with his job if his side lose badly against Liverpool after the break, but former United defender Ferdinand suggests that would be foolish.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under increasing pressure at Manchester United

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under increasing pressure at Manchester United

Speaking at the launch of South London 4 South London on Friday, he told talkSPORT: “There’s no way the club would have thought this would be rosy straight away, they’re not naive enough to think that it was going to be a situation where he just changes it overnight.

“This is definitely something where there is going to be early pain, there is going to be a situation where the results are not going to go our way, especially with the new recruitment that they’ve started to go with younger players.

“That’s why I don’t see there being a change straight away, I’d be very surprised if I wake up, open a paper or an app and see that he has gone so quickly.”

Ferdinand, who won six Premier League titles, the Champions League and two League Cups during a glittering 12-year career at Old Trafford, believes his former team-mate Solskjaer needs another transfer window to turn around the club’s fortunes.

Ferdinand urges patience from his former club’s hierarchy

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Ferdinand urges patience from his former club’s hierarchy

“I don’t think this is the time for knee-jerk reactions,” he added.

“When you’re giving someone millions of pounds to spend money on to affect the squad, it doesn’t seem right to change that right away.

“It’s just throwing another regime out of the window and starting again and that’s happened far too often in recent years at United because of results and what not.

“There’s been a change in the recruitment, where they’ve brought young, British players into the club, which is a shift from previous years.

“Time is not something that is afforded to many people in the game, but Ole probably needs another window to get more people in, shuffle the pack and get more out.

“It’s only then you can really start to judge him in my opinion.”

One summer recruit is already shining, and Ferdinand suggests the growing influence of Dan James so early on in his Old Trafford career underlines where the club are right now.

James, who has also established himself as a first-team regular for Wales, has made an impressive start to life in Manchester following his £15m move from Swansea.

Dan James has made a promising start to life at Manchester United following his £15m move from Swansea

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Dan James has made a promising start to life at Manchester United following his £15m move from Swansea

The 21-year-old, who has already got on the score sheet three times for the Red Devils, has been a rare bright spark in what has been a dismal campaign for the Premier League giants to date.

They have made their worst start to a season in 30 years with the pressure intensifying on boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and Ferdinand believes a lot of pressure has been put on the youngster’s shoulders already.

He added: “I don’t think they [United] expected what they have got from Daniel James so early on in his Manchester United career.

“He’s probably been their most influential player so far, so what does that really say about that squad?

“You’re buying someone from Swansea who was probably brought in as someone who is going to flourish at a later date.

“However, he’s been forced to the forefront as their main man in the team at the moment. That really says where Manchester United are at this minute in time.”


Dulwich Hamlet FC, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and ASPIRE are launching their South London 4 South London (#SL4SL) campaign on 11th October 2019. A season-long initiative, #SL4SL will bring together a network of South London based supporters, businesses and grass-roots organisations to support young people from Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham. For more information, click here.


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