Manchester United’s failure to find a suitable manager has been “embarrassing”, says Paul Ince, with the club needing to avoid the mistakes of David Moyes and Jose Mourinho when assessing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s claims to the job.
Filling the shoes of Sir Alex Ferguson in the wake of his retirement back in 2013 was always going to be a nigh-on impossible job for those at Old Trafford.
United are, however, onto their fifth coach – permanent and interim – since an iconic Scot walked away from the dugout.
Moyes, Ryan Giggs, Louis van Gaal, Mourinho and Solskjaer have all taken the reins in an ongoing bid to bring the glory days back to a club so accustomed to competing for and landing major honours.
There have been successes, while the man currently at the helm has collected eight wins from an unbeaten nine-game start, but Ince believes careful consideration needs to be given to the next permanent managerial appointment.
The former United midfielder told Paddy Power: “People are getting ahead of themselves in suggesting that Solskjaer should be made permanent manager. The game against Burnley [a 2-2 draw], despite coming back into it, proved that the team aren’t there yet. I’m not saying he’s not done well, he’s been fantastic, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready for the job yet.
“You’ve got to be careful. Whoever takes the job on a permanent basis must be the right man.
“It’s getting embarrassing, United have been through David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and then fans were convinced Mourinho was the right man, and it’s quite clear he wasn’t.
“United wasted time with Mourinho, they won a couple of trophies but ultimately, he took them back another step.
“What the club can’t do is give it to Solskjaer for a year, realise he wasn’t what they thought, and end up sacking another manager – I can see that happening.
“Whoever is the next manager, whether that’s him or Mauricio Pochettino, needs to be there for the long haul.”
Ince believes that Solskjaer, despite being yet to suffer a defeat, has made some “bizarre” decisions and needs to settle on a favoured XI if he is to become a serious contender for a full-time role.
The ex-England international added: “Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said recently that he wanted to see how his Man United side would react if they went a goal down.
“I’m not sure it was part of the plan to go two down against Burnley, but it was a brilliant sign that his players were determined to get a point, and it showed a real shift in their attitude from under Jose Mourinho.
“It’s not Ole’s best result as manager – the fact of the matter is you still shouldn’t be going two goals down at home to Burnley – but it was good to see the fighting spirit back.
“I’m not sure why he keeps changing the team, though. There needs to be consistency in the side, and when they’re playing so well at the minute, I’m not sure what the need is to keep mess with the line-up.
“The decision he made to start Andreas Pereira was bizarre, and then he ended up being at fault for a goal.
“There needs to be some consistency.”