EXCLUSIVE: Bryan Robson issues plea to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to speak to Sir Alex Ferguson MORE and to welcome the Scot’s input as Norwegian faces pressure to save his Man United job
Old Trafford legend Bryan Robson says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should ask for more help from Sir Alex Ferguson to solve his problems at Manchester United.
Despite Solskjaer’s close relationship with Ferguson, it is understood the United manager has sought advice from his old boss on just a handful of occasions since returning to the club three years ago.
Solskjaer is under pressure following a run of six defeats in 12 games in all competitions, and Robson believes United have not drawn on Ferguson’s immense experience nearly enough since the 79-year-old Scot retired in 2013.
Bryan Robson (left) believes that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) could benefit from more input from Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United as pressure builds on his position as manager
Solskjaer (left) has sought advice from Ferguson (right) on few occasions at Old Trafford
‘As a manager, you shouldn’t be afraid of somebody like Sir Alex,’ said Robson. ‘I would be saying, “Gaffer, can I take you for a bite of lunch?”
‘I wouldn’t be bothered if someone saw us in the restaurant. I would sit down with him and be picking things out. I’m not afraid of him losing me the job. I’d much sooner get his thoughts and ideas.
‘If you want to implement them, you do. If you don’t, then do your own thing. At the end of the day, as the manager you’re the one who is going to get the bullet, nobody else.’
Robson believes Ferguson would welcome the opportunity to have greater input at United, even though his age and health problems following a brain haemorrhage in 2018 would rule out a more active role.
The Norwegian boss is under pressure as Red Devils boss after a clumsy start to the season
The former United and England captain said: ‘Since Sir Alex more or less retired, I think the only influence he’s had was that he helped the club get Cristiano Ronaldo back. Other than that, he doesn’t interfere.
‘If people ever ask his advice, he’ll tell it how it is. But he doesn’t interfere with anybody at the club because he knows that everybody is scrutinising you.
‘The club could tap into him more. They could exploit that experience where I don’t think they have in the last six or seven years.
‘Signing players, all that sort of thing. When you’ve got the experience and eye for a player that Sir Alex has, that would be a good area for him to be involved in because he’s always going to have an opinion.’
When he was manager of struggling Middlesbrough in 2000, Robson agreed to temporarily hand over the reins to former England manager Terry Venables. Robson had been Venables’ No 2 at Euro 96, but he cannot envisage a similar scenario with Solskjaer and Sir Alex at Old Trafford.
Ferguson (left) has been a regular at United matches this season to watch his former side play
‘I don’t think Sir Alex will ever go into that role again,’ said the 64-year-old United ambassador, who was back at the club’s old training ground at The Cliff on Friday to oversee a Under 18s training session.
‘He’s 80 this year. He’s done enough of that in his life, so why would he want that pressure back on him, especially with the health issues he’s had?
‘He has made a remarkable recovery from that but I can’t see the gaffer wanting that sort of responsibility.
‘He’s got loads of grandkids he spends time with, he loves his horseracing and he loves to go and watch the game.’