Man United are preparing to face Man City at the Etihad this weekend and just days before the game, pundit Paul Merson has claimed that the Red Devils are on the brink of collapse.
He wrote for the Daily Star: “Manchester United are on the verge of a meltdown – because that’s what it would be if they don’t finish in the top four.
They were top of the league not so long ago and if you’re in with a chance of winning the title and then you don’t finish in the top four, that’s a major collapse. United have stopped scoring goals and teams below them have winnable games. They have opened the door. And they could be caught.
“You have to ask questions of the players. Look at the players they have. Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Daniel James. There’s a lot of ammunition there. Players who can hurt you. But too often it’s all about Bruno Fernandes.
“They’re always waiting for him to do something special. But teams are targeting him now and he’s getting tired. It’s taking a toll on him. He’s been carrying a massive football club on his shoulders for too long this season. Someone else has to step up.
“How many games can you say he was a five out of ten but United have still won?
“United have players who can hurt you but they’re aren’t doing it. I think they need to work harder.
“You look at Manchester City and some of those players are superstars. But they still go hunting in packs for the ball and work their socks off.
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“I watch United’s attacking play lately and it all seems very off the cuff. Usually, with most teams, you can see what they’re trying to do. You can see a plan.”
Man United have seriously seen their form dip over the past few weeks as they have managed only one win in their previous five Premier League matches.
All these unnecessary dropped points mean Man United are almost out of the title race and if they can’t defeat Man City on Sunday then Pep Guardiola’s side will be running a one-horse race towards lifting the trophy in May.
Bruno Fernandes has seen his form dip in recent weeks while Paul Pogba has also been out injured for some time and with two of their best players failing to turn up, the other Man United players look absolutely clueless.
Right now, Ole’s biggest job will be to beat Man City on Sunday and then straight away focus on their Europa League game in midweek. But first, the manager will need to instil belief and self-confidence back into his players or else Paul Merson’s prediction can turn into reality within the blink of an eye.