Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp believes that Manchester United have been disappointing this season following their 0-0 draw with Southampton on Wednesday.
Jose Mourinho’s men have placed maximum emphasis on their Europa League final date with Ajax in recent weeks and have, as a result, only managed two points from a possible 12.
They will finish in sixth spot in the Premier League this season but will regard the last nine months as successful if they can win in Stockholm next week.
But Redknapp has noted that, for all the money spent over the summer, Man United ought to have produced much more.
“It’s been a majorly disappointing season in the league,” he said.
“When you look at the United team and Jose says he is struggling for players, that team cost about £260m, I would want a lot more.
“I am sure the Manchester United fans would want more – more excitement and more attacking football. Watching United is hard work at the moment, it was hard at the weekend [against Tottenham] and hard work again today.
“It’s tough to feel sorry for Mourinho, I think his reputation rests on next Wednesday.
“If they lose it’s been a massively disappointing season. They are 25 points behind Chelsea, they are no better than last season, they look pedestrian at times, and there is no excitement.
“If they win then it’s been a great season, but if they don’t it’s a major disappointment, especially with the money they spent in the summer.
“The way they play is the most damning thing. They get out-worked and out-run by every team. Whatever they do in the summer they need more energy and pace.
“They are a mishmash of players and I don’t think he has a clue what his best team is.
“Wednesday is so big for him, for his reputation with the fans and everyone as well.”
United have somewhat tailed off since the euphoria of that League Cup win back in February and the Portuguese will know that doing the same next year could be fatal – for both the side and his own managerial prospects.
Nevertheless, Mourinho’s men have dragged themselves, battered and bruised, to the Europa League final: victory would see a Champions League spot accompanied by a couple of trophies, whilst defeat could wreak irreversible damage of the psyche of this team.