Nemanja Vidic has slammed the lack of winning mentality in the Manchester United squad compared to the side he played in.
The Serbian was one of the best defenders in world football while at Man United, forming arguably the Premier League’s greatest defensive partnership alongside Rio Ferdinand.
Under Sir Alex Ferguson, he won every trophy possible apart from the FA Cup in the Premier League era’s best English side. Vidic used examples from his playing days at Old Trafford of how the squad never allowed success to go to their heads and were always thinking about the next challenge.
His comments came after current manager Jose Mourinho slammed his players for being “in the moon” after coming from behind to beat rivals Manchester City last weekend, only to lose humiliatingly to relegation favourites West Brom at home.
“I think the Man Utd players, they know that every game is important and you have to win,” Vidic said.
“You play for Man Utd it’s not acceptable to draw. Always you have a high expectation.”
Vidic revealed that even after winning a magnificent double in 2008, lifting the UEFA Champions League and Premier League, he and his teammates were focusing on next season very soon after.
“We won the Champions League, we didn’t celebrate. We had a 2-hour celebration, we went on holiday and then the manager was thinking who can I bring the next season to compete. That’s Man United and I think the players should understand that.”
Vidic is completely correct. That Mourinho claimed his players were negatively affected by a superb win in the Manchester derby is hugely disheartening.
This United side has been critiqued for their mentality. Mourinho looked to have changed that. But the celebrations of the win, though it was fantastic, should have stopped for the players once they left the stadium because despite the victory, City were always going to be Premier League champions, and not United.
That the United side let it affect their desire to beat West Brom at home, a side who have won just four games all season now, is shocking.
“The players have to show desire,” Vidic said, “they have to show energy, have to do more than other teams. “