Manchester United legend Paul Parker has made an emotionally powerful statement in the wake of the derby defeat, urging Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to make major changes immediately to try and rectify the poor run of performances.
There is no guarantee that Solskjaer will be in charge by the next time United play, but – particularly after watching West Ham defeat Liverpool yesterday – Parker believes that the game at Watford should see a very different team take to the pitch.
“I saw West Ham play against a team that could have beaten us by ten,” Parker said exclusively on this week’s Talking Devils podcast. “They have a better midfield than United. They have more competitive players. They have more players who play with pride for their shirt. I look at Harry Maguire. He just puts his hand up looking for offside. He’s there playing everyone on and looks to the assistant. He wants to blame other people. The wing-backs were not able to attack like they did at Spurs. It was a back five.”
Maguire posted an apology on social media but was pictured at a party after the game and Parker says that a statement should be made when it comes to the leadership of the team.
“Bruno was gesturing to players to push up because the so-called captain doesn’t speak and doesn’t take responsibility,” Parker said. “Ole has to make a decision. Harsh ones about individuals to test their character. Take away the armband and tell him to become a centre-half first. It’s embarrassing now. Roy (Keane) spoke out last week and a fan called him out outside the ground. It’s a modern thing – ‘don’t have a go at them’ – we don’t want people being upset. But do it. Upset people. Test their characters. How much they want to wear that jersey. How much do they want to play football? How much do they want to play for Manchester United?”
“You want to walk around Manchester and have people say you play for United. They’re not willing to go and do what it takes to get United winning. They’re happy to go out after a defeat as if nothing has happened. Go out with your wife or partner – don’t go out for a drink with a mates. You’re living in a football town. Respect it.”
Parker was speaking exclusively on our podcast, which can be viewed on YouTube every Monday live at 10am or downloaded as an audio podcast on Apple Podcasts.