Manchester United’s struggle to be part of the Premier League title race has demonstrated an underlying division in the camp, according to Tim Sherwood.
United have conceded 26 goals in the Premier League in 16 games so far, and they missed the chance to finish top of their Champions League group after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Valencia this week.
Jose Mourinho’s side head into this Sunday’s clash with Liverpool, live on Sky Sports, 16 points adrift of their fierce rivals, and Sherwood believes the club’s ongoing problems reflect an unhappy environment at Carrington.
Speaking on The Debate, he said: Jose’s got to try and find a different way because it’s not working at the moment.
The players he’s got at his disposal there want to go on the front foot. They’re world-class players… they’ve got (Paul) Pogba, (Romelu) Lukaku, (Juan) Mata, (David) de Gea, they’ve got world-class players.
Paul Pogba looks like a Championship player, but he’s won the World Cup. He needs to say, ‘go on, have a go at this Liverpool side. I trust you’.
But there’s so much split, there’s so much divide in the Manchester United camp from the top, to Jose to his players. They’re all going in different directions.
United went to Anfield in September last season and came away with a 0-0 draw that was widely criticised due to Mourinho’s perceived negative tactics, with his side second in the league at the time.
Liverpool are a vastly-improved team compared to then, and a similar result would this time be welcomed by many United fans, and Gordon Strachan believes creating an open game could back-fire for Mourinho.
Strachan said: Do they have enough energy to go and have a go? I don’t think they’ve got the energy to go toe-to-toe. If Liverpool beat them three or four-nil, that would be the worst possible thing to happen for Jose Mourinho.
That would say to the world that his style is no longer working against Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. They’re now taking over. How would that affect him mentally as a coach?
He bought a team to bully their way through. They had a giant side, but the other two [Liverpool and Manchester City] have created teams full of pure energy and technique, and I think that’s a problem for him now. I don’t think he’s got enough time to change into that style.