Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjær has branded their post-Sir Alex Ferguson struggles “undignifying” in a further blow to beleaguered manager Louis van Gaal.
The Norwegian was nicknamed the 'baby-faced assassin' during his 11 years of service at Old Trafford, winning six Premier League titles, but has grown “very disappointed” by their slump in fortunes under Ferguson’s successors David Moyes and current incumbent Van Gaal.
United are yet to win a major trophy since the Scot retired in 2013 and Solskjær, managing Norwegian side Molde for a second time after a disastrous spell with Cardiff City, has joined fellow members of the United alumni Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand in damning the current generation.
“I am very disappointed in the quality over the past few years,” Solskjaer said in discussion with Olof Lundh on a podcast at fotbollskanalen.se.
“We knew it would be tough after the Ferguson era but we have not managed to keep the enthusiasm and the entertaining, attacking football. It is very tough to see Manchester City managing to get Pep Guardiola [as their new manager] and sign the biggest stars in Europe.
“I am a big fan of Guardiola and his philosophy and all his teams. So now United have to pull themselves together. They are heading for a very difficult time.
“We are used to winning. We are used to finishing first. We are used to entertaining the fans. If we finished second it was a disappointing season, now the talk is about finishing fourth. It is undignifying for a club like Manchester United.”
The 42-year-old believes Van Gaal will see out his contract in the North West despite unrelenting speculation linking José Mourinho, the former Chelsea manager, with the post. Discussing a prospective new coach, however, Solskjær backed Ryan Giggs to be given the opportunity to restore United to their former glories.
“I think Van Gaal will stay for three years,” he added. “It is a plan and a process and I am 100% sure he will stay for three years. Ryan Giggs is the most likely former player to manage the club. He has Manchester United DNA in his body.”
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