Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince has described the club as a ‘laughing stock’ following a turbulent start to the season.
United’s 3-2 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday came after a disappointing summer in which Jose Mourinho failed to land a number of high-profile defensive targets, including Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld and Leicester’s Harry Maguire.
To compound matters, the relationship between the club’s talismanic midfielder Paul Pogba and Mourinho appears to be deteriorating. with his squad today in a bid to solve unrest within the dressing room.
Although the Premier League season is just two games in, Ince feels that United are already falling behind their rivals with Manchester City, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea all having taken maximum points so far.
‘Other clubs and fans are having a field day at the minute, seeing what is happening at Man United. They’re becoming a laughing stock, and falling behind,’ Ince said.
‘You would never have seen this going on with Sir Alex Ferguson as manager, especially not playing out in public.
‘At Man United, everything from top to bottom is in turmoil, and it shows.
‘Should Mourinho leave? No. Should Man United as a club get their house in order? Absolutely. That’s the whole lot. From the top down, Ed Woodward, Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba, everything is a total mess.’
Aside from conflict within the dressing room and boardroom, Mourinho also has to contend with discontent from the stands with United supporters unhappy at the style of play he has implemented during his spell at Old Trafford.
Despite finishing second last season, United were the lowest goalscorers of the top four clubs and their total of 68 league goals was 38 fewer than the champions Manchester City.
‘I can see now that fans are turning against Jose Mourinho, and I can understand why. When you see Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham – they’re all playing the kind of football you expect from a Manchester United side,’ Ince said.
‘The fans want to see attacking football. They want to see the kind of performances they’re used to from United sides, even if the result is sometimes disappointing.
‘They’re right to be upset, because I don’t believe they’re going to see that this year either. I watched the game on Sunday, and I physically couldn’t see what Mourinho and United were trying to do. There was no gameplan whatsoever.
‘When you’re managing at Old Trafford, you’re expected to play a certain style, and if you’re not then there’s going to be issues with the fans and the club.’