Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is making the same mistakes Roy Hodgson made during his ill-dated spell at Liverpool, according to Glen Johnson.
The former Reds defender says Hodgson would ‘install fear’ into his players before games by not setting up his teams to play vibrant attacking football.
Johnson and fellow talkSPORT pundit Jermaine Pennant agree Solskjaer is setting up his Manchester United team too negatively, and it’s affecting his players in the pitch.
According to the duo, that was evident as United suffered their latest humiliating result against Burnley on Wednesday night, losing 2-0 at Old Trafford.
Supporters streamed out of the ground long before the full-time whistle, with the stands half-empty at the final whistle as the fans who had remained in their seats booed their struggling team off the pitch.
And Pennant says he was surprised by Solskjear’s team selection against the Clarets, who claimed their first ever Premier League win at Old Trafford.
“When [Marcus] Rashford and [Anthony] Martial play, they work well together, but obviously now Rashford is out injured and to see Mason Greenwood not starting in his place was a big shock and surprise to the fans,” the former Liverpool winger said on White and Sawyer.
“Ole has gone with James and Pereira for most of the season but their stats are not great.
“And Fred, what position is he? He doesn’t score goals! After 20 games he has zero goals and zero assists, and then you’ve got Mastic as a defensive midfielder – that’s so defensive!
“That’s a team you’d put out against Liverpool, not Burnley at Old Trafford where you should be attacking them.
“United had 77 per cent possession in the second-half but they haven’t got players to break them down. They didn’t really create anything. It was an easy night for Burnley.”
Jermaine Pennant blasts Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for negative tactics at Manchester United
And Johnson has explained how his former Liverpool team suffered a similar crisis of confidence on the pitch during Hodgson’s brief Anfield reign, which saw the future England manager sacked after six months in charge following just 13 wins from 31 games.
In contrast, Solskjear has taken charge of 32 Premier League games since taking the permanent job in March 2019, and has won just 11.
“We had a similar scenario at Liverpool,” explained Johnson.
“When Hodgson was there we used to go into the games at Anfield really looking forward to it, thinking we can put on a show here and put the game to bed early.
“But he would install fear into us before the game.
“I remember a specific game against Wolves, we were thinking we’re miles better than them, just let us go out and play, but all week it was rigid training and the whole team was so negative. It was like we were trying to not lose rather than just putting teams to the sword.
“And the players do look at that and think, ‘what is going on here, does the manager not believe in us? Does he actually think we’re not that much better than them?’ That feeling leaks onto the pitch.
“So the players themselves would have been thinking, ‘we don’t know what’s going on here’.”
Having initially exclaimed the return of a legend when he was appointed, many United supporters have now lost faith in Solskjaer after overseeing the club’s worst start to a Premier League season in history.
And Pennant believes United’s players may now be doubting their boss, too.
He added: “Ole is a Manchester United legend, but now that things have really hit the fan the players are probably looking at him thinking, ‘that’s Ole Gunner Solkjaer, not Sir Alex Ferguson, not Jose Mourinho’.
“He hasn’t got that weight behind him because he hasn’t managed great teams and he hasn’t achieved great things in his career as a manager yet.”