Tuesday 20 August 2019

'You're a banker, not a football man' - Man United legend Paul Ince launches withering attack on club stars

Ed Woodward
Ed Woodward
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince has launched a stinging attack on some of the club's biggest names, with Ed Woodward, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard coming in for especially fierce criticism.

Paddy Power ambassador Ince has called on United executive vice-chairman Woodward to change the culture of the dressing room, after claiming the club will take a long time to recover from the mess he has helped to create since he replaced David Gill in the role in 2013.

"There’s just so much about Manchester United that isn’t right," declared Ince. "The footballing ­decisions have been mental for a few years now.

"The club has fallen far behind the pack. I’d like to think that they will recover, but I think we could be waiting a while.

"For me, a lot of the issues come down to the attitude of the squad. The players are doing exactly what they want, when they want, and there’s no control from above.

"It wouldn’t happen under Fergie and it wouldn’t happen under Pep Guardiola. Players are dictating to you and the board what they want – and that’s not on.

"I get it. You’re a banker – not a football man. You’re absolutely fantastic at bringing in profit and sponsorship deals but you can’t just keep throwing money away on players.

"You need someone in who gets football, who has the presence to deal with these players and tell them they can’t demand X, Y and Z from United.

"The fans won’t have it. It’s a lack of respect for your team-mates who can behave, and it’s a total lack of respect for playing for Manchester United."

Ince's criticism of the United players was pointed, as he reserved vitriolic condemnation of the club's record signing as he urged manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to get tough with his under-performing stars.

"Why did he wait until the end of the season to say he wants to go with a sly comment in the press? If you’re gonna say it, say it in front of those thousands of fans who go to watch you," he said of Pogba as he also had a snipe at Lingard.

"Ole – the man you appointed – needs to come out against these players. He needs to come down hard on them and set a precedent that he’s not allowing players to behave like that anymore.

"Jesse Lingard think they’re bigger than the club and the manager. If Fergie was in charge they wouldn’t be doing it, they wouldn’t even still be at the club.

"Jesse has been bang average this year and if I’d performed the way he did last season the last thing I would do is post anything on social media. The way he played last season he should be embarrassed.

"Let Ole bring in his players and have a full run at the season – then he has no excuses."

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