Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has called talks about Mauricio Pochettino replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as ‘disrespectful.’ The United manager has been under tremendous pressure this season after a poor start to the campaign that sees them 14th in the league table after seven games. The Red Devils have lost three of those games already, while Solskjaer’s and co have been criminally inconsistent this season.
Ahead of the weekend’s game against Everton, the papers were abuzz with reports that Manchester United had contacted the former Tottenham Hotspur manager to replace the Norwegian. However, all those talks were thrown out of the window as the Red Devils convincingly dispatched the Toffees, winning 3-1 and continuing their fantastic away form in the Premier League.
The win helped Solskjaer ease the pressure on him and temporarily move away from the shadow of Pochettino lingering behind him. But Ferdinand claims that the Argentinean was never in contention to replace the Norwegian at Manchester United.
Manchester United had no conversations with Pochettino, claims Ferdinand
Sharing his views in a social media video, the former Manchester United defender hit out at the critics calling for Solskjaer to be replaced. He even claimed that the club had never been in discussions with Pochettino to replace the Norwegian.
"It’s a bit disrespectful on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, if I’m honest. People are touting that Pochettino has been spoken to and stuff. I’ve got it under a really, really, really good source that there have been no conversations or anything like that going on."
Ferdinand also shared his views on Solskjaer’s anger about Manchester United’s Premier League scheduling, pointing out that he had been in a similar situation as a player himself.
"This happens at top clubs. We’ve all been away in, say, Ukraine and then play away in Newcastle in a lunchtime kick-off. That’s part and parcel of it. I understand his frustration because we used to moan - you want the league to be a little bit lenient and say, ‘We’ll give you a little bit extra time’. But it wasn’t the case and you’ve got to get on with it."
The Englishman believes that the Manchester United boss handled the situation to his advantage, displaying traits of a top manager.
"His frustrations lies in players getting injured, but also, he’s controlled the narrative during that interview. He’s talked about what he wanted to talk about and that’s something a lot of the top managers in the past have done."
"It takes away from maybe the other things that were going on before the game, but the result is the be all and end all and he got the result he needed."
Published 10 Nov 2020, 23:28 IST