‘United players look terrified of Mourinho’

Jose Mourinho

Former Arsenal legend Paul Merson believes certain Manchester United players are terrified of Jose Mourinho and it’s inhibiting their performances.

Mourinho has always had a reputation as a tough and demanding boss, and has frequently called out his players publicly when he feels they’ve underperformed or do not possess enough quality.

United looked lackluster as they drew 0-0 with West Ham on Thursday, failing to score in back-to-back games for the first time since March 2016.

Mourinho made eight changes for the game but the new crop failed to impress, and Merson said he noticed something about the players’ performance.

“Every time a Manchester United player misses a chance they always run back and look at Mourinho in the dugout – they look petrified,” he said on Sky Sports’ The Debate.

“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.”

Mourinho has admitted his squad needs improvement, but Merson believes he should be more worried about players wanting to leave Old Trafford.

“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.”