Manchester United are ‘petrified’ to play creative and attacking football under Jose Mourinho according to former Arsenal star Paul Merson.
United ensured that they will finish the season in second place after their 0-0 draw at the London Stadium against West Ham on Thursday evening.
Despite grabbing the point they needed to secure second spot, it was a drab affair in East London, with most of United’s efforts on goal being speculative efforts from outside the box. The two most attacking players, Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard, kept coming deep for the ball, with the midfield seemingly happy to constantly pass the ball sideways.
Speaking to Sky Sports’ The Debate programme, Merson claimed that United’s lack of creativity was due to being scared of their manager:
“Every time a Manchester United player misses a chance they always run back and look at Mourinho in the dugout – they look petrified,” said Merson.
“You watch Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool play – and sometimes Arsenal – and you can see the patterns of their attacking play.
“It looks like there is a plan. It’s different at Manchester United – everyone is standing still, everyone just passes the ball – there is no movement. I think the players are petrified.”
While Jose Mourinho has already revealed that he plans on making changes to his playing personnel in the summer, Merson also said that those who are allowed to leave will not be upset:
“If a player gets sold in summer, they wouldn’t leave Manchester United crying,” he said.
“A lot of them look like they don’t enjoy their football.”