This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking on talkSPORT, former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan has insisted Manchester United’s “fear factor” at home has disappeared.
United suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday, meaning they have picked up four points from their opening three Premier League games of the season.
Now, Jordan has insisted the ‘Old Trafford fear factor’ has gone, and revealed he didn’t think Solskjaer could truly lead the Red Devils back to their former glories.
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He said: “Looking at that performance; there is no fear factor, nobody cares about Old Trafford because that image is gone. And I don’t think it is going to come back under the stewardship of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer because part of that image, as we know, was best players winning games.
“But also, was this figure at the very head of Manchester United as a football operation which was (Sir Alex) Ferguson. Are you seriously saying to me that the serious times of Man United, with Liverpool and Man City disappearing into the horizon, that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to operate at the level that is required? I don’t think so!”
The ‘Old Trafford fear factor’ arguably died the moment Sir Alex Ferguson stepped away from the club. United have simply not been the same since the departure of their iconic boss, and the sheer aura that helped create that presence is sorely missed.
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Solskjaer cannot be held accountable for opposition teams finally having the courage to take the game to United. Ferguson left six years ago, and since then, the Red Devils’ dominance has slowly but surely eroded.
The United boss has not been in the job for a full year yet, but there have been glimpses of the kind of team he is looking to build. The performance against Chelsea, and the victories over Tottenham and Arsenal last season, showed the Norwegian there is certainly something to work with.
But make no mistake, this remains a rebuilding job that could take another couple of years. The so-called ‘fear factor’ will simply have to be created from scratch again.