Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch has surprisingly jumped to the defence of Manchester United and their season under Jose Mourinho, who has been largely criticised regarding style of play.
Despite securing a second place finish with a 0-0 draw at West Ham United on Thursday night, the highest since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, United could finish the 2017-18 campaign without silverware.
Rivals Manchester City have phenomenally run away with the Premier League title and are set to finish on 100 points, United suffered a humiliating defeat at Bristol City in the League Cup Quarter-Finals and were dumped out of the UEFA Champions League at home against Sevilla in the Round of 16.
However, could win a record-equalling 13th FA Cup trophy next weekend as they face Chelsea in the final at Wembley Stadium, and Crouch believes United are criticised as much as they are because of how easily they can be targeted.
He said: “Criticising Manchester United has been all too easy this season. They do not play the same way as Manchester City, Liverpool or Tottenham and that has made them a consistent target. To be honest, it is something I have struggled to understand.
“It pains me to say this, as my mum’s side of the family support City and I used to play for Liverpool, but how can you knock United when they have secured second place in the table and reached the FA Cup final?”
Crouch, 37, has endured a miserable season at his club Stoke City and will be playing Sky Bet Championship football if he decides it isn’t time to hang up his boots yet, but has spoken a lot of sense in his new role as a columnist and a lot of United fans will agree with what he has said in this certain column.
“Look at the table — with one game to go, they have second place sewn up. Of course, people will argue that they did not get close enough to City in the title race but, as far as I can see, this has been a very good season for them. I know the style sometimes frustrates the fans but you cannot argue with results.”