Danny Murphy believes Manchester United’s poor start to the season is down to players not being happy playing under Jose Mourinho. The former Liverpool star claims the manager is unlikely to last the season in charge at Old Trafford, amid reports of unrest behind the scenes between the boss and the United board.
United, last season’s runners-up in the Premier League, have been unconvincing in their first two games of the new campaign. They scraped past Leicester City in their opening game last week and there was no improvement on Sunday, as Mourinho’s men suffered a shock defeat away at Brighton. The manager refused to blame his players for the 3-2 loss, but the Red Devils were hammed by pundits and the press, who criticised their disorganised display and their lack of passion and spirit.
Murphy was in the pundit’s chair on Sunday night’s Match of the Day 2, and he continued his analysis of the United’s performance with talkSPORT host Jim White on Monday morning. The former Liverpool midfielder said: “Although you respect the manager and try initially to get on board with what he wants, when he is asking you to play a certain way but it doesn’t suit your strengths, it becomes harder when you don’t get the results and you don’t enjoy it. “Subconsciously your physical output drops and you aren’t able to play at the level you want to play at – and that’s infectious within the squad.
“Your desire to want to do the hard yards isn’t there, because you’re not happy and – in any job – you always get better performances if people are happy.” Asked if that explains United’s poor start to the new season, Murphy said: “It can only be that. “They’re not happy with the way they’re playing. “Sanchez, Mata, Martial, Lingard, Rashford, Lukaku, Pogba – they are all creative players, but they are being nullified because of the way Mourinho wants to play.
“For a squad with the quality they possess, that performance [against Brighton] was hugely underwhelming for a United team.” Asked if he believes Mourinho will still be manager come the end of the season, the former midfielder added: “I don’t think so.
“History suggests not.”