Jose Mourinho slams misfiring Manchester United quartet after West Bromwich Albion draw
Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial in the firing line after stalemate at Old Trafford
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho openly criticised Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial after yet another frustrating league game at Old Trafford ended in a 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Mourinho’s side have now drawn eight league games at home this season, and in seven of them they were comfortably the more dominant team but ultimately failed to turn possession and chances into goals.
The latest disappointment followed that pattern with United enjoying 75 per cent possession against Albion, but failing to end a run of home draws that has left them facing an uphill task if they are to finish in the top four.
And Rashford, Lingard, Mkhitaryan and Martial found themselves publically criticised by Mourinho as a United team without six key players through injury or suspension, took their total of home points dropped in drawn games to 16 for the campaign.
“This is deja vu all season,” said Mourinho. “We’re not consistent. We miss easy chances. We have moments or periods when we push, but then a couple of players disappear for 10 minutes, when you don’t see them.
“You always see the same people, the same guys in front of the train, pulling the train. It’s disappointing.
“We need to kill off teams. When you see the number of goals we score compared to our domination, it’s a big contradiction.
“If you’re somebody who doesn’t know, you would think we’re a defensive team, a counter-attack team, waiting for opponents’ mistakes. And it’s completely the opposite.”
Mourinho’s decision to single out his under-performing stars by name is not an option usually taken by modern managers, and his words could easily be taken as a warning to the quartet as he prepares for a busy summer in the transfer market.
“In teams that want to win things, you need consistency in individuals,” said Mourinho.
“In some other clubs where you are playing for the top 10, any player with talent is welcome, even if that talent is not consistent, even if that talent is one day yes, one day no.
“In teams at this level you need to be consistent and today for 90 minutes, [Antonio] Valencia was consistent, Ashley Young was consistent, Marcos Rojo, [Eric] Bailly, [Marouane] Fellaini, [Michael] Carrick was consistent ... and the other ones were not consistent.
“The other ones were a flash of talent, a glimpse of talent.”
For all Mourinho’s anger, he saw United stretch their unbeaten run to 19 league games and their total of three league defeats all season is now joint-best in the division, along with Tottenham Hotspur.
“It’s an amazing unbeaten run,” said Mourinho, who now turns his attention to Wednesday mornings (Hong Kong time) home game with Everton.
“Nineteen matches in the modern Premier League is amazing, it’s fantastic. But too many draws at home.
“Some draws away from home are very acceptable and positive, you can deal with it, but too many draws at home.”
West Brom are still comfortably positioned in the top 10 of the Premier League and manager Tony Pulis was delighted with the effort shown by his players.
“Bigger clubs have the money, the skill, the ability,” said Pulis of West Brom’s impressive display.
“The smaller clubs who don’t have the skill or the money to buy it, we have to work very hard on organisation.
“That’s what we’ve done today. You need a little bit of fortune as well but I’m delighted for the players. They worked really hard.”