Erik ten Hag is not to blame for Manchester United's woeful start to the Premier League season and the Red Devils' squad is simply "not at the standard required," according to former defender Rio Ferdinand,

United's start to their first campaign under Ten Hag went from bad to worse on Saturday as they capitulated to a 4-0 defeat at Brentford, leaving them bottom of the Premier League table.

The result saw the Dutchman become the first United manager to lose his first two games in the job for over a century – since John Chapman did so in November 1921.

But when speaking on his FIVE podcast, Ferdinand defended the former Ajax head coach, instead taking aim at the club's players and owners, the Glazer family. 

"I wouldn't blame Ten Hag right now. You can pick at his team selection or whatever, but this is a bigger problem; a wider problem than that," the six-time Premier League winner said.

"I don't feel sorry for the players, I feel sorry for Ten Hag. He's come in under false pretences. He's come in expecting new signings.

"He's probably sitting there thinking: 'I've been sold a dummy here. I didn't know I was coming into this.'

"Confidence was going to be low. He knew that, but he thought 'I'll be able to rebuild that.' But obviously, the players are not at the standard required; simple as that.

"The results tell you that. This isn't a result over a month or two, this is a result over a long, sustained amount of time. You've had ample time to come back and show us your true selves. It's not happening."

Turning his attention to the Glazers, Ferdinand asked: "Where the hell are they? Get here! Get over here.

"This isn't like a normal business; this is a football club with heritage, with history, with character, with personality, real people involved. So, treat it like that.

"They need to come here and communicate. Communication is one of the key components to being successful, from the top down.

"They're not communicating with the fans, they're not communicating with the people, no one knows where they are, they can't put a face to it. I think that's disrespectful, and I think it's out of order.

"They need to come here and put themselves right at the front and start shouldering some of this blame."

Aside from their poor results, United have also come under fire for their approach to recruitment recently, with Gary Neville labelling the club "desperate" amid links to Marko Arnautovic last week.

United's attempts to attract Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong to Old Trafford have evolved into one of the longest-running sagas of the transfer window, and Ferdinand called on the Red Devils to end their pursuit, accusing them of "begging" the Netherlands international to join.

The former centre-half added: "They've walked around behind him, begging him, 'please turn round and notice us.'

"He's looking around and saying 'not for me', and we're still there, 'please give us one chance.' How are we allowing ourselves to be put in a position like that?

"Do you think Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Sir Alex [Ferguson] or Jose Mourinho would be following around a player like this? They wouldn't be doing that!"

United's third Premier League outing of the campaign sees them take on Liverpool at Old Trafford on August 22, having shipped nine goals without reply against Klopp's men in two fixtures last term.

Raphael Varane cannot be held solely responsible for his struggles since joining Manchester United last year, says former Red Devils defender Rio Ferdinand.

According to Ferdinand, United's "zero functionality" organisation under managers Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick was a crucial factor behind the 2018 World Cup winner's poor first season in England.

Now the United backline could be set for an important overhaul under new boss Erik ten Hag, Ferdinand believes.

Four-time Champions League winner Varane played 29 times in his debut season with United after arriving from Real Madrid, contributing to just six clean sheets as the Red Devils posted their worst Premier League points tally (58), finishing sixth.

Only four teams – relegated duo Norwich City (six) and Watford (four) as well as Leeds United (five) and Leicester City (seven) – kept fewer than the eight Premier League clean sheets managed by United last term.

While Ferdinand noted Varane has not performed to an elite level at Old Trafford, he hit out at United's lack of structure last season, comparing it to that of a youth team.

"I think he went from one team [Madrid], [where] the honours tell you it was a functioning team, functioning at the top level, with all the players playing to the maximum consistently," Ferdinand told his YouTube channel FIVE.

"He's then gone to an absolute reverse situation where the team has zero functionality, no confidence, no guidance and no structure. Going in there, he's probably going, 'I have not seen this since youth football'.

"To go from that world-class culture to what he's in with United is a huge shift, and he's like a rabbit in the headlights.

"He hasn't been the player we expected him to be when he came here, he would tell you that, and he'll be saying, 'I've got to up my level next year, I need help, I need my team-mates'.

"You need team-mates to be the best; [whether you are, Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Zinedine] Zidane, Ronaldinho, these players do not do what they do without their team-mates."

The appointment of former Ajax boss Ten Hag has raised hopes of an improved campaign next time around, with United expected to make significant efforts to bolster their squad in the transfer window.

Ajax defender Jurrien Timber is one player to have been heavily linked with United in recent weeks, and Ferdinand believes the club's new boss will want to make changes to the Red Devils' leaky backline.

"I'm interested to see what Ten Hag does in that area," he added. "They're talking about the young lad at Ajax, Timber, who's a centre-half, a small centre-half.

"I'll be interested to see what happens with Varane, [Victor] Lindelof, [Harry] Maguire, and Eric Bailly as well. I think one or two of them are going to go."

United's tally of 57 Premier League goals conceded last season was their worst on record in the competition, while they also failed to record a positive goal difference for the first time since the 1989-90 season.

Michael Owen described Liverpool as the best team in Europe after they lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League final, but Rio Ferdinand said it was "disrespectful" to rank the Reds ahead of their conquerors.

Former England striker Owen had playing spells with both Liverpool and Madrid, and he remains convinced the Reds are the continent's top side, despite them finishing runners-up to Manchester City in the Premier League and now Madrid in Europe.

After chasing a quadruple for months, Liverpool have finished a remarkable season as FA Cup and EFL Cup winners.

Vinicius Junior settled Saturday's final in Paris, with Thibaut Courtois pulling off several fine saves to keep out Liverpool and clinch a 1-0 win.

"I still think they're the best team in Europe, I really do," Owen said, assessing Liverpool as a pundit on BT Sport.

"On other occasions, Liverpool would be having their name etched on the trophy this time.

"The season they've had, I still think they're the team to beat. Real Madrid have got past them today, but you [Ferdinand] know as well as anyone, a one-off game is a one-off game, it's exactly that. I still think they're the most fearsome team in Europe, and they've not got any of the big two trophies this season to show for that, and that will be the biggest pill to swallow."

Ferdinand, a former captain of Manchester United, responded by saying: "How can you say they're the best team in Europe when they've lost the league, and they've lost the Champions League final?"

Ferdinand acknowledged Liverpool have become an "unbelievably exciting team", but he said: "You've got to get your hands on the big trophies to be called outright the best team in Europe.

"I don't think they can be considered that, and I think it would be disrespectful to a team like Madrid who have gone and done what they've done."

Rio Ferdinand accused former England team-mate John Terry of having a "fragile ego" after he took exception to a seemingly innocuous list of all-time greatest Premier League centre-backs.

Manchester United great Ferdinand listed himself first and Chelsea legend Terry fifth during an interview with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.

Ferdinand had his former United centre-back partner Nemanja Vidic second, with both Van Dijk and Jaap Stam ahead of Terry.

The BT Sport pundit said of Terry: "In terms of his longevity at that club, what they won, body on the line, a much better footballer than people give him credit for, could play off his left and right foot."

Terry was seemingly unimpressed by Ferdinand's assessment, though, and took to Instagram to showcase his list of achievements and writing: "Opinions are great but stats don't lie…"

The spat was then taken to Twitter, with Ferdinand making reference to Terry being accused of using racist language towards his brother Anton in 2011.

Terry was found not guilty in court, though he did serve a four-match ban and was fined £200,000 by the Football Association, who deemed he had used "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour" which "included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Anton Ferdinand".

In his post Ferdinand wrote: "@JohnTerry26 The moment one has to start pushing their own records and stats it's really time to start addressing the fragile ego.

"Your (sic) lucky I even put you in the top 5 after the racism case with my brother so be thankful you made it."

Terry took his own shot back, writing in reply: "A fragile Ego is putting yourself at Number 1 @rioferdy5. Thanks for putting me in your top 5."

When accused of ignoring Ferdinand's point on the racism allegations by another user, Terry replied: "Stats don’t lie: not guilty. Addressed it, now what?"

Ferdinand was a six-time Premier League winner with United, while he also lifted the Champions League, Club World Cup, and EFL Cup twice.

Terry's list of achievements with the Blues included five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and three EFL Cups. He also has winners' medals in the Champions League and Europa League, though he did not play in either of Chelsea's winning finals in 2012 and 2013.

Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand lamented the Red Devils for "downing tools" at Brighton and Hove Albion as he questioned the fight of his former side.

Ralf Rangnick's men were thumped 4-0 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday as Moises Caicedo, Marc Cucurella, Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard were all on target for Graham Potter's dominant hosts.

Rangnick, who will be replaced by Erik ten Hag at the end of the season, apologised for the humiliating defeat, while Bruno Fernandes accepted United supporters' assessment that the players were "not fit to wear the shirt".

This is set to go down as United's worst season in the Premier League era, having conceded their most goals in a single campaign (56) and fallen short of their record low for points, sitting on 58, six fewer than their 2013-14 mark with only a game to play.

Ferdinand, speaking on his YouTube podcast 'FIVE', heaped criticism on his old club as he expressed his dismay at United's situation.

"We are getting mocked every week," said Ferdinand, who won six Premier League titles and a Champions League at United. "We have gone down to Brighton to the seaside for a day out.

"We got pumped and sent back home. There is no fight, there is no character, and it seems there is no desire. People have downed tools, it seems.

"We are getting smashed 4-0 at Brighton. Listen, they are a decent team, but United shouldn't be getting beat 4-0 like that. 

"This is a terrible situation and I really wonder what it is like in that changing room.

"Is there anyone standing up? Are there any characters that are picking people up, or is everyone in there thinking that it has gone now? We have gone, and that is it."

Rio Ferdinand has defended Harry Maguire's Manchester United form, with the ex-England man comparing his struggles to those of Gerard Pique when he played for the club.

The centre-back became the most expensive defender in history when he arrived at Old Trafford from Leicester City in 2019.

Yet he has struggled to replicate the form he has enjoyed for Gareth Southgate's Three Lions since his capture, particularly during a dismal 2021-22 campaign.

Ferdinand has backed the United captain however, pointing to the combination of differing styles between club and country that may have left him shortchanged at the Red Devils.

"In an England shirt he’s been nothing but phenomenal," he said on YouTube show Vibe with FIVE. "He’s been unreal. You can’t say he’s a dead player, he’s been unbelievable for England.

"What I’m saying is, for England he’s been great, but they play a particular way of football that probably suits him."

Ferdinand pointed to Barcelona stalwart Pique, who emerged as one of the game's modern greats after leaving Manchester for Camp Nou, to reinforce his suggestion about adapting to the game.

"Gerard Pique was at Man United, you could argue that he might not have had the career that he’s had at Barcelona if he stayed at Man United because of the way he plays," he added.

"It’s like boxing, styles make fights – it’s the same in football. The way of Man United’s football, and the way that they are trying to play, hasn’t suited him.

"But [there is] also form and confidence. His confidence has taken a big knock.

"I don’t care who you are. You could be Messi, Ronaldo, Zidane, Mbappe all these players – if their confidence is low they are not the same player."

Maguire's form has not seen him dropped from the international set-up however, unlike team-mates Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, both of whom were left out by England in March.

Even without a reversal of fortunes, the centre-back will be expected to feature heavily for the Three Lions when they head to the Qatar 2022 World Cup at the end of the year.

Rio Ferdinand labelled Karim Benzema the best striker in the world after Real Madrid's 3-1 win at Chelsea on Wednesday.

Benzema's hat-trick at Stamford Bridge was impressive alone as a feat, before even considering how clinically the French striker converted his chances and the fact it was his second Champions League treble in a row.

The 34-year-old became only the fourth player in Champions League history to score back-to-back hat-tricks after Cristiano Ronaldo (2017), Lionel Messi (2016) and Luiz Adriano (2014).

As well as his goalscoring output, the completeness of Benzema's game is what former Manchester United and England defender Ferdinand made particular reference to in his praise, and how he has thrived since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure in 2018.

"He is 34 and he is the best number nine in the world," Ferdinand said on BT Sport. "He is another level – goals, assists, link up play, slowing the game down.

"When Cristiano Ronaldo was there Benzema had the humility to sit in the background because he knew what it meant to the team, but now he has come out of the shadows."

Scoring only 12 goals across all competitions during Ronaldo's final season in Madrid, Benzema has netted over 25 in each season since and, with this hat-trick, is on 37 this term.

While the three-goal haul was pleasing for the France international, the team's performance and the win provided the ultimate satisfaction.

"I will remember it for a long time because they are magical nights, like the other day at the Bernabeu against Paris [Saint-Germain]," Benzema told Movistar.

"We entered the field today to win and we have shown who Real Madrid is. Things have gone well because we played well from the first minute to the last.

"All three are very important goals and I'm happier with the third because I missed one in the first half and I was thinking about it. It's very important to score goals."

Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand questioned Marcus Rashford's future with the Red Devils after the forward was only a substitute against Leicester City.

Ralf Rangnick's side, who were without Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani, limped to a 1-1 draw on Sunday with Fred cancelling out Kelechi Iheanacho's opener at Old Trafford.

Rashford was named on the bench despite the absence of the United attacking pair, with midfielders Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba preferred up top before the England international was introduced in the 55th minute.

The 24-year-old offered little after coming on, failing to register a single shot in his 35-minute cameo, winning none of his three duels and managing just 14 touches for the underwhelming hosts.

Indeed, Rashford has started just five Premier League games since Rangnick's arrival in December, racking up a meagre 564 minutes from the 12 top-flight appearances he has made under the German.

Rangnick justified his decision after the game as he cited a lack of confidence for Rashford, who has scored a league-high four goals from the bench, but Ferdinand questioned the reluctance to trust the striker.

"What Rashford must be thinking now – wow," Ferdinnd said on his YouTube channel FIVE. "Maybe there's a new contract negotiation behind the scenes but if you're him, you're thinking, 'How can I stay here?'.

"You're thinking, 'This gaffer does not fancy me. How can I sign this contract when the team would rather play without a striker than play with me?'.

"I'm not saying he's been perfect. If I'm Rashford, I'm thinking this guy doesn't rate me if he's going to play two midfielders up front.

"He hasn't played well enough to be selected if Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani are fit. It's a different case when he's going into a game with no striker.

"How bad must he be in training? How badly must he rate him to go into a game like that?"

United dropped further ground in the race for Champions League qualification, currently sitting three points adrift of fourth place, with the Red Devils' next clash coming at strugglers Everton on Saturday.

Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland could not even transform Manchester United’s fortunes, according to former Red Devil Rio Ferdinand.

United crashed out at the Champions League last-16 stage at the hands of Atletico Madrid, whose 1-0 victory at Old Trafford sealed a 2-1 aggregate win for Diego Simeone's side on Tuesday.

That meant United have failed to make a Champions League semi-final since 2011, when they eventually lost to Barcelona in the final at Wembley under Alex Ferguson.

The nature of the loss to Atleti brought the direction of the club into sharp focus, but Ferdinand believes more systemic change at the club is pertinent, as opposed to squad investment.

Ralf Rangnick remains in interim charge of United until the end of the season, and Ferdinand wants to see a manager brought in that can deliver success and drag the Red Devils out of an underwhelming period.

"What it [the loss] does show you is that it doesn't matter what players you get together, what talent you get together, you need someone to harness that," he told BT Sport post-match.

"You need someone to harness that. You need a manager to come in and put it all together.

"If you bring in Mbappe and Haaland this summer, United are not going to win the league. It doesn't matter who you bring in, it needs to be from the top down."

United are now out of contention for silverware once again, but they will look to make amends at home to Leicester City on April 2 as they pursue Champions League qualification in the Premier League.

Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes criticised a lack of leadership and planning at Manchester United following their Champions League exit at home to Atletico Madrid.

With Renan Lodi's first-half goal putting Atleti up 2-1 on aggregate, United eventually went out tamely as they struggled to create much of substance while chasing the result.

According to former United centre-back Ferdinand, the biggest difference between the two teams was not on the pitch but rather with Ralf Rangnick and Diego Simeone in the respective dugouts.

"The difference between the two teams, the Atletico team, they had a group of reliable men, reliable men who would go out there and do anything the manager asked of them," Ferdinand told BT Sport.

"They understand the job at hand and they work together as a team. Whereas the other team, Man Utd, they’re looking at each other like, 'Who's going to pull us out of this? Who's going to pull the magic trick out of the hat?'

"It's not about the team getting through this. It's a moment of brilliance from an individual and it's a very different way of working."

Ferdinand hedged his comments, though, saying the club needs to patiently progress when they bring in a manager, a process which has reportedly already begun behind the scenes.

"Once you get the manager, getting the right person, you're talking minimum of two, three years before you can think about challenging, and with Manchester City and Liverpool it's a high bar," Ferdinand continued.

Scholes delivered a particularly blunt assessment, asserting interim manager Rangnick is not meeting expectations with the squad he has at his disposal.

"The coach is a massive part of it, getting a proper coach. This isn't a terrible group of players, if you give them structure and a way of playing, there's some real talent in this squad. It's not as talented as the teams above them, we know that," he said.

"The very first thing this club needs to do, to get anywhere near winning anything, is get a proper coach. Get a coach that suits them and give them a couple of years to build a squad that will challenge.

"Atletico are not a better team than Man United, but they've got a better coach. If he [Simeone] was coaching Man United, they go through that game.

"What it comes from is leadership. It comes from a coach who demands that and will get that out of his players. I don't want to keep having a go at this manager. He seems real nice, I love his interviews, he's very honest, but how he was chosen to be manager of this club – whether it's for six months, six weeks, six games – I don't know."

Manchester United are not a stronger team without Cristiano Ronaldo and cannot think about discarding the forward, according to Rio Ferdinand.

Ronaldo brought an emphatic end to a barren run in front of goal with a hat-trick in Saturday's 3-2 Premier League win over Tottenham at Old Trafford.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner had just one goal and no assists in his previous 10 games for United in all competitions prior to his impressive treble.

That led to questions whether the Red Devils would be better off without Ronaldo in their side, with the Portugal international having been left out at times by Ralf Rangnick.

But after bagging his 49th hat-trick at club level, including at least one in 13 consecutive seasons, Ferdinand rejected claims his former team-mate weakens United in any way.

"Without Cristiano Ronaldo, Man United would not still be in the Champions League," Ferdinand told The Mirror.

"Are United a stronger team without him? I cannot agree with that at all. If he is not playing with Man United then they would have gone out in the group stage.

"A player with his ability and his talent, who is as decisive as he is, who has shown it over the years and this season that he can make the difference.

"Man United are not a team who are in the position to think, 'OK, we are too good to have someone like that in our team'."

Ronaldo has now found the net 18 times in 31 games since returning to Old Trafford from Juventus in August – double that of any other United player.

That includes 12 goals in the Premier League, making the 37-year-old the competition's joint-second highest scorer this term, albeit 12 goals behind runaway leader Mohamed Salah.

Commenting on Ronaldo's display against Tottenham, Rangnick said it was the best performance he has seen from the ex-Real Madrid player during his time in interim charge.

"At least since I arrived, his best performance," Rangnick said. "Not only because he scored three goals, two brilliant goals... he was also energetically good.

"He was part of the whole team when we had to defend, and we had to defend a lot. Top performance by him, but also by the rest of the team."

Rio Ferdinand has questioned whether Manchester United can be considered serious Premier League title contenders with Harry Maguire starting regularly at centre-back.

Maguire, a reported £80million signing from Leicester City in 2018, has struggled for consistency in his third season at Old Trafford.

He has started 27 games for United this term – a tally bettered only by Bruno Fernandes (32) among outfield players – but was benched for Saturday's stalemate with Watford.

Interim boss Ralf Rangnick put that down to fitness reasons, but Ferdinand does not believe the United captain's strengths are suited to the German's style of play.

Speaking on his 'Vibe with Five' YouTube show, Ferdinand said: "Is Maguire going to enable you to win the league? That's a question.

"The thing about someone like Ralf Rangnick and all the top teams now is when they play, they play on the front foot and want to win the ball high.

"Liverpool do it tremendously well, Manchester City do it really well, Bayern [Munich] do it. Three of the best teams on the planet and everyone is going that way of playing. 

"Rangnick's style is like that. Can you do that with Maguire? That’s my problem, my issue. His pace doesn't allow for that, he's always going to be looking over his shoulder."

United have a 57 per cent win return in the 21 Premier League games Maguire has started this season, which drops to 17 per cent in the six games he has not started.

However, the Red Devils concede fewer goals on average in the competition without Maguire in the side – one per game compared to 1.3.

Maguire may return for Sunday's derby showdown with Manchester City, but Ferdinand believes his deficiencies will continue to pose a problem for United.

"If I'm a quick centre-forward or a quick attacker, I would be hanging around where Maguire is," said Ferdinand, who spent 12 years at Old Trafford during his playing career.

"For all the good traits he has in his game, that is a big weakness and that is a fundamental of all the top teams, to play one-versus-one on the halfway.

"You have to be able to do that. Top teams, top players can do that. Jaap Stam – leave him on the halfway line, not a problem. Virgil van Dijk, leave him on halfway, no problem.

"For Maguire, long-term, unless he can find an extra yard of pace it's going to be difficult for him."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can have no complaints about his sacking at Manchester United, which became "inevitable", according to club greats Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand.

Solskjaer was dismissed on Sunday after a stunning 4-1 defeat to Watford in United's first Premier League match since the international break.

Big home losses to Liverpool and Manchester City had already increased the pressure on the 48-year-old.

Although only those two title-winning teams earned more points (245 for Liverpool, 244 for City) than United (197) during Solskjaer's tenure, the Red Devils have only once endured a worse start to a Premier League season.

That was also under Solskjaer, as United earned just 16 points from 12 games in 2019-20, compared to 17 points this term. Their 21 goals conceded at this stage represents their worst mark to date.

Seventh in the table, Neville believes United's announcement Michael Carrick will take temporary charge before the club name an interim manager until the end of the season shows they "don't have a plan".

"This is third time in eight years a manager has been given long-term extension and lost their job a few months later," he told Sky Sports, adding: "You have to ask questions."

But Neville accepts Solskjaer has reached "the end" following a dismal run of form.

"Every decision Ole has made in three years at this club were for best interests of United – he loves the club," Neville said.

"I have no issue with his commitment, but he couldn't get his side to play football in the past couple of months.

"There is a lack of leaders in the dressing room, irrespective of the manager. You hope they can find a second wind, but it didn't happen. Watford mauled them, messed them around, outfought them – when that happens, it spells the end.

"Managers deserve two or three years in the job. Ole can't complain – he's been backed in the transfer window. [David] Moyes had eight months and was kicked out.

"Ole can't complain about time or money afforded. He won't complain, but he'll be massively disappointed. He expected a lot more.

"Why has a club that has been progressing now look as though they can't pass to each other? The back five yesterday, and midfield two, have been together for a number of years. The confidence is just shot.

"Ole will reflect with sadness, but he should be proud with his previous work. He rebuilt the soul after the end of the Mourinho era.

"The players need to sort themselves out. They'll get battered in front of the whole country against Chelsea if they don't sort it out."

Neville added that "performances have been terrible, results have been shocking", describing the Watford display as "wimpish", and his assessment tallies with that of former United team-mate Ferdinand.

"This has been inevitable," Ferdinand told BT Sport. 

He added: "What we saw against Watford was terrible. I'm not surprised [by the news]. I'm disappointed, obviously, in the way the team's performed.

"It's unfortunate for someone like Ole, but it's the way football goes."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should hand over the baton and leave Old Trafford, according to former defender Rio Ferdinand.

Solskjaer is under mounting pressure after United were outclassed 2-0 by neighbours Manchester City in Saturday's Premier League derby, having been humiliated 5-0 at the hands of Liverpool last month.

United have lost four of their past six games as the Red Devils already find themselves nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea heading into the international break.

Solskjaer is yet to deliver a title since he became permanent United manager in March 2019 and ex-team-mate Ferdinand believes it is time for the Norwegian to move on.

"We started this season with such hope but also the transfer window that we had, the excitement, we were all sitting there going 'this is our time now'," Ferdinand – who won six Premier League trophies and the Champions League during his time at United – said on his Five with Vibe podcast.

"Ole was brought in to get us to that point. He was brought in to get the squad in-tact, get the players in to make us challenge for the league.

"I sit here now and I don't think we can challenge for this league. I look at our team every week wondering what are we gonna do tactically? 

"I don't see any philosophy or identity in the Man United way of playing whatever that should be from the management. I sit here looking confused at the team.

"I was always deep down a bit sceptical, could he take us on to be champions? I wasn't fully convinced – I wasn't sure he could do that. 

"But the showing with the squad that he accumulated, to the beginning of this season – and what I've seen this season – I just feel it might be about the time now for the baton to be handed over to somebody else who can take us on now.  

"And I think Ole would leave now with his head held high because, because from when he came in to where he got us at the beginning of the season I think it's been positive."

United are now without a clean sheet in their last 14 home games in all competitions – they have only had one longer run in their entire history without a home clean sheet, a 21-match run between April 1958 and March 1959.

Solskjaer's United have lost eight home matches in all competitions in 2021, their most in a calendar year since losing eight in 1989.

United have conceded 11 home Premier League goals in six fixtures Old Trafford this season, their most in their first six home league matches of a season since 1976-77 (also 11).

Meanwhile, United have taken just eight points in their last nine home Premier League matches (W2 D2 L5) and have lost consecutive home league matches without scoring for the first time since March 2014, when those defeats also came against Liverpool followed by City.

Thomas Tuchel saw his tactical switch fail as Chelsea lost 1-0 at home to Manchester City in the Premier League, and he admitted: "Maybe this is on me." 

Chelsea's unbeaten start to the season ended at Stamford Bridge, where Gabriel Jesus struck early in the second half to make the difference. 

Head coach Tuchel sent out Chelsea with three defensive midfielders and lined up Romelu Lukaku alongside Timo Werner from the start of a game for the first time in attack. 

With three centre-backs and defenders running the flanks, it meant Chelsea were found wanting when it came to creativity, as City took revenge for their defeat to Tuchel's men in May's Champions League final. 

"We lost the game and I think City deserved to win," Tuchel told BT Sport. 

"Until the goal, we were very, very strong in the last 20 metres of the field [Chelsea's defensive area], but only there unfortunately, and in the 80 metres left we were not good enough to escape pressure, to have ball possession, and not only ball possession to breathe but ball possession to switch play and to hurt them and to grow in confidence. 

"Until then, we defended very well the box and the goal, it was excellent, but this was the only part of the match. 

"The performance was not complex enough, it was overall not on our very best level, and you need your best level to push a game like this to your side." 

Chelsea had only 40 per cent of the ball, but that was also the case in the Champions League final where they made better use of their possession, showing a greater incisiveness. 

Rodri's inclusion allowed City's creative players to rampage at times, as his defensive qualities helped to shield a defence who encountered few midfield runners. 

Chelsea had goalkeeper Edouard Mendy for keeping the score down, as he pulled off two big saves to deny Jack Grealish. 

Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand, working as a television pundit at the game, described the result as "a 1-0 beating". 

"Chelsea didn't at any time look part of the game, look like a team who could get anything out of it," Ferdinand said. 

"City dominated in all areas: the intensity, the press, the possession, the chances on goal. If Mendy doesn't play today, they [Chelsea] probably concede three or four." 

Tuchel also recognised his Chelsea side got what they deserved. 

"In general, we can accept it because it was not our best game," Tuchel said of the defeat. 

"Even if we wanted to go for long balls for Romelu, it was not precise enough. I did not feel the belief that we could really escape with short balls, I did not really feel 100 per cent the belief that if we play long balls that we believe in it. 

"We lacked a little bit of freshness and energy. Maybe this is on me, maybe not the very best choices today, but OK." 

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