Manchester United's board of directors "panicked" in appointing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to Paul Ince, who says his old club have lost their fear factor under the current manager.
Solskjaer brought up his 100th game in charge at Old Trafford on Sunday, but had very little to celebrate by the end of a heavyweight clash with Arsenal.
The Gunners ran out 1-0 winners thanks to a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty, with the defeat compounding United's worst start to a top-flight season since David Moyes' doomed tenure in 2013-14.
The Red Devils are currently languishing in the bottom half of the table, nine points behind pacesetters and defending champions Liverpool having played a game less.
Solskjaer has so far failed to build on the platform of a third-place Premier League finish in 2019-20, with his side unable to maintain their impressive post-lockdown form at the start of the new campaign.
The Norwegian endured a similar downturn in results when he was handed a permanent contract in March of last year, having initially overseen a revival of fortunes as interim head coach.
Ince thinks United officials jumped the gun by handing Solskjaer a three-year deal, and that teams are now confident of picking up points against the Red Devils both at home and away.
“They've been inconsistent for a while now - even before Ole took over," the former United midfielder told Ladbrokes. "Then they went on that great run and he got the job. It was hard not to give him the job after that run. I do think the board panicked though.
“All the fans were singing his name, ordering the club to give him the job and they did. I think they should've waited until the end of the season. Let him have it as interim manager until the end of the season then see who's out there, who the best man is for the job.
“I'm not saying Ole's not the best man for the job, and getting that team last season into third place was a great achievement. But I look at United now compared to when I played...
“We had a presence. Teams were frightened of us. We already had teams beat before we walked out onto the pitch. Whether it was home or away, teams were frightened of Manchester United. I don't see that now.
“Teams look at them and think they can take points from the game. We saw it against Arsenal, where United were woeful. We've seen Crystal Palace do it. Something's not quite right.”
The Red Devils are due back in Champions League action against Istanbul Basaksehir on Wednesday, when they will be aiming to extend their perfect record in Group H.
Solskjaer will then start preparing his squad for a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton on Saturday, before the second international break of the season comes into effect.