Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s lack of mobility and Jose Mourinho’s ego are the main reasons for Manchester United’s current struggles, according to a World Cup winning striker.
United put in a below-par display in a 3-1 defeat at Watford on Sunday – a performance which we heavily criticised Paul Pogba and Wayne Rooney – with the club now having lost three successive matches to trail leaders Manchester City by six points.
Amid claims that Mourinho has angered his players by publicly criticising them, Christophe Dugarry – who played in the Premier League for Birmingham and won the World Cup with France in 1998, has pinpointed the reasons for their struggles.
And Ibrahimovic, who has scored four goals in his five games in the Premier League since his summer move from Paris Saint-Germain, was the main source of Dugarry’s criticisms and believes the Swede does more harm than good to United’s style.
“Ibra is a cone. People talk about his stats… but he’s a cone,” Dugarry said on his RMC radio show. “When you see Zlatan’s matches, it’s not possible to do that. It’s English football, it goes at 2,000 kilometres an hour.”
Ibrahimovic was not the only one to be criticised by Dugarry as he also took aim at Mourinho, who had started his Old Trafford reign with three consecutive league wins before his team’s form dipped.
“I get the feeling Mourinho’s last tactical success was that Champions League game between Inter Milan and Barcelona,” Dugarry said, referring to Inter’s 2009-10 Champions League semifinal triumph.
“He’s won titles since, but I think he’s lost the plot. He believes he has become more important than the team. Tactically, I think he doesn’t put anything in place. Apart from the players, who have changed, it’s the same organisation as last season under Van Gaal.
“He always blames the referee or their opponents’ good fortune. There is no self-criticism.”