Paul Scholes: Manchester United will struggle to make top four if they carry on playing like this

by Harry Robinson

Manchester United could yet finish outside of the top four in the Premier League after terrible form in December, Paul Scholes has claimed.

The Reds have had a truly woeful month, despite starting it off with a fantastically ruthless 3-1 win away to Arsenal at the Emirates. They’ve been humiliated in the Manchester derby, a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City, who are almost certain to lift the title now.

There was another embarrassing defeat to Bristol City in the League Cup, and Jose Mourinho’s side have now drawn three consecutive games, with 2-2 draws against Leicester City and then Burnley and a 0-0 stalemate vs Southampton on Saturday evening.

Scholes says something needs to change quickly if United are going to finish in the top four, let alone try and keep up with Man City to some extent.

“They need to liven up this team,” Scholes claimed on BT Sport after the game. “Top four is not guaranteed for me at this stage, there’s some good teams in there; Tottenham, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea.

“They’ve got to concentrate, they’ve got to liven up, the managers got to lift them.”

It’s a true challenge of Jose Mourinho’s qualities as Man United manager now. It’s an incredibly busy period for a top side, with another game in just a couple of days against Everton before the FA Cup Third Round against Derby County soon after.

Mourinho must change the way his side is playing. United were lacklustre and boring against Southampton. Rather than the visitors dropping deep because of United’s attacking quality, Mourinho’s men were dropping deep and inviting Southampton to attack, before ponderously moving forward and creating nothing.

United are now third, sitting outside the top two for one of the first times this season. It’s been a shambolic month, and this is the consequence.

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