Paul Ince has not seen progress under interim Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick and branded his team “soft”.
Monday evening’s 1-0 loss at home to Wolves was the first defeat of Rangnick’s fledging reign but, having witnessed a series of questionable performances over the festive period, Ince does not believe the German has taken the club forward since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure.
Asked if there had been progress, the former Red Devils midfielder told Sky Sports: “If I’m being totally honest, then no.
“It reminds me of when Ole first took over at Manchester United and he had an easy fixture list – Cardiff, teams like that – and it came off the back of a (Jose) Mourinho team where the players didn’t really like Mourinho and the atmosphere was hostile.
“Ole came in, had a great fixture list to go into, changed the system, changed certain things, made it a happy camp and they started winning games.
“I think we all got hoodwinked into the fact that this was the way forward and we were making progression. I get that same feeling now.
“The fixture list that Ralf has come into is the perfect fixture list for any manager managing a big club like Manchester United. The performances have been absolutely – apart from the Palace one at home – they’ve been bang average, they really, really have.
“If you could ask any Manchester United fan sitting there now who knows about football, do you see a progression in the development of what we have seen over the last five games? – you actually have to say no.
“Do you see Ralf being the manager come the end of the season? The answer on the basis at this moment – and it is early doors – you’ve got to say no.
“I’m not sure if this job is a poisoned chalice. It’s the biggest job in the world, the biggest club in the world, but it’s like a poisoned chalice.”
Ince also questioned the players after defender Luke Shaw had delivered a frank post-match assessment, but pointed to a lack of quality in the squad rather than the intensity, commitment and togetherness Shaw felt was missing.
“If I had a bad game, Roy Keane would be on to me, Peter Schmeichel…” he recalled. “I don’t see that. They’re soft. This is a soft, soft team.
“He (Shaw) talks about great players – I don’t see great players there. I see (Cristiano) Ronaldo, who’s a great player, but I don’t see anyone else great there.”