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“United Have Problems” Former Arsenal Star Slams Manchester United’s Latest Recruits

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Jose Mourinho claimed last week that his team had just produced the best performance of the season in the game against Stoke City. However, even this kind of a performance was able to yield just one point as the two teams could only draw 1-1. United produced a chance after chance – especially the first half – and it was surprising to see them score only one goal in the end of 90 minutes. Purely in terms of opportunities, it may have been the best game for United but football is all about taking the chances.

Former Arsenal defender and Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes that United were unable to make their chances count as a result of not playing as a team. Any team will struggle when it has too many individual players in the squad. Merson says that United struggled against Stoke due to the lack of vision from superstars Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Both players were at their best in the first half, but they were more focused on making the headlines by scoring a goal. Merson has pointed out to various moments in the game when United would have had a better outcome had Pogba and Ibrahimovic lifted their heads up. Merson via his Daily Star column said:

“Manchester United are going to struggle to finish in the top four at the rate they’re going. I’m not sure they are Champions League material.

“They should have blown Stoke away in the first 20 minutes last Sunday. But after that I’m not sure they looked like scoring.

“United have problems. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba just seem to look for each other all the time and ignore everyone else.”

The individualistic approach from these players may cost United a place in the Champions League next season according to Merson. At this moment, United are far from looking like a top four team which may come as a surprise to many considering that Mourinho aimed for the title at the start of the campaign. Just two wins in the last five games mean the team averages just under two points per game. The competition in the Premier League means that around 70 points may be sufficient for the top four places. At the current rate, United will miss out on the top four by a couple of points.

Of course, a sample of seven games is not a barometer to judge a team over the course of the campaign. United have the strength in depth and a great manager to help them recover. Any recovery, though, has to come much sooner since the team faces the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester City in the league and the League Cup next. United have their work cut out for the game against Fenerbahce, which is only a fortnight away.

A few weeks ago, Jose Mourinho asked fans and media not to pay too much attention to Paul Pogba’s performances the French midfielder was only getting used to life at Manchester United. Yet, the Portuguese seem to be caught in the same trap as experiments to find the best position for Pogba seems to be hurting results.