Jamie Carragher has issued a withering assessment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s managerial capabilities and claimed he will never be as good as his immediate rivals at Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Solskjaer hit out at Carragher earlier this week, claiming the Sky Sports pundit was trying to destabilise his side ahead of Sunday’s clash with Liverpool by claiming Manchester United need a better manager.
Now, writing for The Telegraph, Carragher said while Solskjaer was right to return fire at him, his point remains and drew comparisons to his own playing career with England in how Solskjaer matches up to Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel.
‘John Terry was taller than me and was always going to be better in the air. Rio Ferdinand was quicker and stronger,’ Carragher said. ‘I maxed out with what I had… but nothing I could do was ever going to supplant the two of them. It’s the same with Solskjaer up against Klopp, Guardiola and Tuchel.
‘He’s never going to be at the level of the three managers he’s got to beat. He’s never going to be them. He’s never going to have that gravitas.
‘He hasn’t got the presence of Klopp at Liverpool, he’s hasn’t got the trophies behind him that Guardiola has at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now Manchester City so that when he speaks the players hang off his every word.
‘What intensifies the spotlight is Tuchel coming in. Chelsea were where United have been in the last two or three years but they brought in a manager who has taken them up to that Liverpool and City level really quickly.’
Carragher also turned on Solskjaer’s handling of Paul Pogba, who was dropped for the game against Atalanta after saying ‘something has to change’ following the 4-2 defeat by Leicester last weekend.
Pogba is also in the final year of his United contract with uncertainty intensifying over whether his long-term future lies at Old Trafford.
‘It was a big decision but he and United should be preparing for life without Pogba, who could easily leave at the end of the season,’ Carragher said.
‘I thought it was strong management from Solskjaer to omit him after the player’s comments post-Leicester about something needing to change because it’s a decision that’s largely been fudged until now.’
Pogba came on in the 66th minute for Scott McTominay against Atalanta, with United 2-1 down at the time. His performance helped United overturn the deficit and seal a crucial 3-2 win against the Serie A side.
United are winless in their last three Premier League matches and sit sixth in the standings.
A defeat against Klopp’s Liverpool on Sunday would leave United seven points behind their fierce rivals with just nine league matches played.