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‘This was an opportunity to form a winning culture at the club and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team have failed’

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the UEFA Europa League final. Photo credit: Rafal Oleksiewicz/PA Wire

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the UEFA Europa League final. Photo credit: Rafal Oleksiewicz/PA Wire

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the UEFA Europa League final. Photo credit: Rafal Oleksiewicz/PA Wire

Rio Ferdinand didn't hold back as he suggested Manchester United were not good enough following their loss in the Europa League final against Villarreal after a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

After the first 21 penalties were scored in a remarkable game of penalty roulette, United keeper David De Gea was forced to step up and take a spot-kick, with his opposite number Gerónimo Rulli making the save that handed Villarreal the first major trophy in their history.

Amid the scenes of unbridled joy for the Spanish side and their coach Unai Emery, who has now won the Europa League on four occasions, the inquest into a limp United performance in Gdansk got underway and Old Trafford great Ferdinand was withering in his verdict on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team.

"If you are going to be brutally honest, Man United were not good enough on the night," Ferdinand told BT Sport.

"Manchester United have relied upon individuals this season to come up with the trump cards in games at critical moments in the games. Bruno (Fernandes) has invariably been the man they have leaned on, (Edinson) Cavani late on in the season, Mason (Greenwood) sometimes, Marcus (Rashford).

"But today, they just never came up with the goods. In the final third, they didn't take enough chances, they didn't risk enough, the imagination wasn't there, the creativity wasn't there today, and there have not been too many occasions when you could say that when one of them hasn't stepped up and produced.

"They had a little moment after Cavani scored and you thought, 'Right, they've got the momentum, they're going to go on now and take the game by the scruff of the neck'. They didn't.

"Villarreal weathered the storm and the experience of Emery, the way he set his team up, they nullified Manchester United, they made Manchester United today look quite toothless at times and they got the job done, and credit to Unai Emery and his team. Four Europa League titles. It's not to be sniffed at, that.

"As a whole on this season, United have improved. This was an opportunity to form a winning culture at the club and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team have failed. To be brutal, it is a failure."

Ferdinand's fellow United great Paul Scholes questioned whether the desire to win burns brightly enough as he stated: "Does it hurt them enough to lose? I'm not sure. There are a lot of players and it doesn't hurt them.

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"They won't like losing, but Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani, they look proper hurt when they get beat. For some of the others, I'm not sure it hurts enough. Even the manager looks okay with it sometimes.

"United have become a club that everyone likes. Where are the demands coming from to win trophies? There is no communication from the club on what the demands are."

Scholes then asked Ferdinand if he feels Solskjaer should be replaced as United manager and he admitted the clock might be ticking for his former team-mate.

"I feel like he has done enough to still go into the next season and carry on," added Ferdinand. "There comes a time when he needs to start getting silverware. I felt that time was now. Next season, they demands need to be there to win trophies.

"They can't get over the line. When you are at Manchester United, you don't get three or four years to do it. They need to start turning finals into silverware."

Solskjaer has one year left on his current United deal and questions will be asked whether he will remain in his post in a summer when the club are looking to invest heavily in new players.


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