Manchester United’s English midfielder Jesse Lingard (R) takes on Brighton’s German-born Nigerian defender Leon Balogun (L) during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on August 19, 2018. Glyn KIRK / AFP
Paul Ince has labelled Manchester United a ‘total mess’ and a ‘laughing stock’ following their 2-3 defeat to Brighton at the weekend.
Tensions have bubbled just under the surface for much of the summer at Old Trafford, with such issues coming to the fore in the wake of the loss.
United have backed Jose Mourinho amid renewed speculation over his future, but the manager has made his frustration clear about executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward’s failure to significantly strengthen his squad.
Questions over Paul Pogba’s happiness also remain, especially after agent Mino Raiola’s cryptic comments on Tuesday, and former United midfielder Ince has called for all at the club to get their act in order.
“Other clubs and fans are having a field day at the minute, seeing what is happening at Man United,’ Ince told Paddy Power News.
“They’re becoming a laughing stock and falling behind.
“They finished second last season, and will probably make the top four this year, but is that what they should be striving for? No.
“Realistically, their goal should be to win the Premier League. But they just cannot compete with Manchester City or Liverpool at the minute.’
“United face a tough test against Tottenham on Monday night, and Ince fears they could find themselves falling even further behind, but he does not believe Mourinho should go.
“Should Mourinho leave? No. Should Man United as a club get their house in order? Absolutely,’ he said.
“That’s the whole lot, from the top down, Ed Woodward, Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba, everything is a total mess.
“You would never have seen this going on with Sir Alex Ferguson as manager, especially not playing out in public.
“I could see why it would be playing on the minds of supporters that this season might end up like the Chelsea 2015-16 one.’
Mourinho was sacked midway through that campaign and Ince believes the United manager’s style of football ‘doesn’t suit the club and never will’.
Ince also called on Pogba to clarify his situation and agent Raiola to ‘grow up’ after taking aim at United great Scholes on social media for questioning his client’s leadership at Brighton.