Football

Rio Ferdinand Explains Why He Called For Solskjaer To Be Sacked

Rio Ferdinand Explains Why He Called For Solskjaer To Be Sacked

The Premier League is back this weekend, which means the return of English football's longest-running debate: should Manchester United sack its manager?

Given Man United's terrible run of form, it's hard to know what exactly it would take for the club to move on from Solskjaer. But the fact that the Norwegian maintains the support of most of the club's legends, including Roy Keane and Gary Neville on Sky Sports, surely gives him some cover.

Rio Ferdinand broke ranks on his youtube channel in the days after the City defeat and said he thinks Manchester United should move on from the Norwegian.

Speaking on BT Sports ahead of Leicester v Chelsea today, Rio Ferdinand explained that he wouldn't be doing his job as a pundit if he didn't call for change at Old Trafford. He said he didn't enjoy making the comments, but said it wasn't hard to do.

Listen, we're all quick to talk about players. 'Ah this player should be out the window. or he should never wear the shirt again,' I've heard loads of people say. It's got to be the same with the manager. Listen I'm not sitting here enjoying saying I think the manager should lose his job. I'm just saying things aren't going well, so maybe there needs to be a change if you want to improve things.

That's just an honest assessment of it. That's what I'm paid to do: to give an honest assessment, whether it's friends, former teammates or people I don't know. Treat them all the same.

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It's interesting that Ferdinand is the one calling for Manchester United to drop Solskjaer, considering Olé declared "Rio again, you know, sometimes he comments on things he doesn’t really know" after Man Unittd lost to Young Boys in the Champions League in September.

Presenter Jake Humphreys asked Ferdinand why he thought his fellow ex-teammates weren't take a similar stance. Ferdinand said he had to 'respect' how different people were handling the situation.

I don't know. Everyone deals with situations differently. You've got to respect that. I respect that people have different ways of doing things, and that their opinion and approach to these situations are different. But that's life. I see it the way I see it, and I'll stand by that. I'm very comfortable and confident saying what I have to say.

It's an interesting contrast to Gary Neville, who today told Ian Ladyman in the Mail that calling for a manager to be sacked on TV is 'crossing a line'.

"They say I am not being honest. But I am not paid on TV to sack managers and I ain't doing it.

"I know the impact of Gary Neville saying a Man United manager should be sacked.

"For the pundits who have said it then "Well done" but it's not my style.

"When I see another pundit calling for any sacking, I cringe. My stomach turns.

"My line is crossed with that. Maybe their line is in a different place."

Neville adds that he made a decision eleven years ago as to the type of football pundit he would be.

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"As pundits we have to decide whether we are comfortable asking for a fellow human being to be sacked. I feel I am a respectable human being."

There is a key difference between rubbishing a football player and calling for a manager to lose his means of employment. But a cynic might think Neville's take is the convenient stance of a man looking to avoid alienating a friend and former teammate, just as a cynic mighy hear Ferdinand's comments and wonder what counts as 'honesty' for football pundits.

Given Manchester United's woeful run of results, perhaps the question Neville and Keane need to answer is not whether Solskjaer should be sacked by the club, but whether Solskjaer should walk away from a job that simply might be too much for him.

But that might involve too much honesty.

SEE ALSO: What Rod Liddle Actually Wrote About Roy Keane In That Famous Column

Rod Liddle on Roy Keane

Donny Mahoney
Article written by
Donny Mahoney is Chief Sportswriter and one of the founders of Balls.ie

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