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04th Feb 2019

Paul Ince doubles down on view he could have done what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has at Manchester United

Wayne Farry

paul ince

Ince was widely ridiculed for his initial comments

When Paul Ince told his fellow BT Sport pundits over the weekend that he – as well as a number of other former Manchester United players – could have done the job that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has at the club since becoming interim manager, there was an interesting reaction.

Solskjaer has won nine out of 10 games in all competitions since taking over from sacked former manager Jose Mourinho in December, and has been widely praised for bringing a sense of positivity and energy back to the club.

But Ince, who made over 200 appearances under Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford between 1989 and 1995, feels that there’s nothing special about the Norwegian’s achievements.

“I think I could have gone in at the time. They needed someone to rest the ship, I think I could have done that,” he said.

“Brucie (Steve Bruce) could have done it, Mark Hughes could have done it.”

Fellow pundit Stephen Warnock quickly rebuffed Ince’s idea, and another former United player seconded this bemusement.

Now while most people would see the error of their ways in this sort of situation and admit they were wrong to say such ludicrous things, Ince is not most people.

No, instead, he has written an article for BBC in which he explains why he is right, and why everyone else is wrong.

“With nine wins from 10 games as United’s interim boss, Ole has been absolutely fantastic. He has lifted the cloud from over Old Trafford, and the team is playing a lot better than they were under Jose Mourinho,” he wrote.

“But the point I was trying to make on ‘Saturday Morning Savage’ was that we all knew the problems United had under Mourinho and, as a manager, I know it is relatively simple to solve them in the short-term.

“I am not just a pundit who has never managed a club – I have managed in the Premier League and all four English professional divisions, so no-one can say I don’t know what I am talking about here.

“And, as a manager, I could see the signs that under Mourinho the players were not happy and the atmosphere and environment was not great. Let’s be honest, everyone could see that.

“My argument was that it was easy for whoever came in after that to right the ship, and lift the players and the dressing room – and put the whole club back on track.”

Ince continues, if you should want to read the rest of the piece, explaining what happens when things go wrong at a club.

The most interesting point of what Ince does say though is that he has “managed in the Premier League and all four English professional divisions, so no-one can say I don’t know what I am talking about here”.

But if you’re going to be using your experience as manager as proof of your credibility, it is also probably worth noting that he has been sacked by Blackburn, MK Dons, Notts County and Blackpool.