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Featured Image Credit: PA/Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE
Solskjaer watched his United side be dominated and outclassed in a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The United manager has been under mounting pressure after mixed results this season, including a 5-0 thumping defeat to Liverpool at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer returned to his native homeland of Norway on Monday to spend time with his family during the international break.
The 48-year-old Norwegian, who extended his United contract in July, has reportedly spoken with the club’s uppers after his side’s derby defeat to City.
It is believed that United are still backing Solskjaer and are not prepared to axe him from his position, despite speculation linking Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers with the club.
Ferdinand has shown unwavering support for Solskjaer and advocated for his permanent appointment after his successful spell as United’s interim manager.
However, the United legend has now suggested it might be time for the “baton to be handed” over and called on Solskjaer to leave his post as United head coach.
Speaking on Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE, he said: “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 going to 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 from when he came in to where he got us at the beginning of the season I think it’s been positive.”
United are sixth in the Premier League table and are five points adrift from fourth-placed Liverpool and nine points behind league leaders Chelsea.
According to reports, Solskjaer is facing a ‘revolt’ within the ranks of his United team and Bruno Fernandes is believed to be unhappy with the lack of direction they’ve received from the manager and coaches.
Ferdinand believes that United players don’t “fear” Solskjaer and stressed the importance of the “element of fear” for managers.
“When I watch our team and sit there and feel the players aren’t in fear -- the intensity’s not right, players aren’t sprinting out and hurting themselves sometimes in games -- I see that as a disrespect to the manager and almost like, ‘I don't fear [him],’ he said.
“Every great manager who has been successful or won things in this game, they have an element of fear. Pep [Guardiola] now, [Jurgen] Klopp now, [Thomas] Tuchel now, Fergie in my time, George Graham at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger -- there’s an element of ‘If you don’t do what I say, you don’t follow the rules […] you are getting back here and sitting [...] on the bench and watching.’
“I don’t see that fear in this squad. That can’t be right. It ain’t right.”