After a superb second-half to the 2019-20 season – in which United climbed to third in the Premier League – expectations were high at Old Trafford ahead of the current campaign.
But Solskjaer’s side suffered an opening-day defeat to Crystal Palace before stumbling past Brighton and then conceding six goals in an embarrassing defeat to Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham.
Premier League legend Shearer expected Manchester United to challenge for the top-four before the season began but says that is now in doubt following a poor start to the campaign.
‘I wasn’t expecting Manchester United to challenge for the title anyway,’ Shearer told The Athletic.
‘I thought they would challenge for a top-four spot, but at the moment they look as if they’re going backwards.
‘If you look at the three league games they’ve played, the first game against Crystal Palace they were hopeless.
‘The second game at Brighton, yes they showed some character to get back into the game but they also got away with it because Brighton hit the woodwork five times.
‘The third game against Tottenham, you could use whatever word you wanted and they couldn’t argue with it because it was there for everyone to see.
‘And it wasn’t as if it was just because they had a man sent off; it was a shambles with 11 men as well. It was really poor.’
‘As I sit here, I don’t see anyone other than Liverpool or Man City for the title,’ the former England striker added.
‘What I do see as an exciting race this season is the battle for the top four. I think it will be more intense than ever.’