Jamie Carragher speaks about the most damning aspect of Man United's decline
"He's lost the dressing room. That's not rocket science, I don't even think that's that controversial a thing to say."
Jamie Carragher has provided an in-depth analysis of Manchester United's difficult to start to the season, and posed some interesting questions about Jose Mourinho.
United have had a turbulent week. On the pitch, they failed to beat Wolves at Old Trafford. They were knocked out of the EFL Cup by Championship side Derby County, who are coached by Frank Lampard. Then, on Saturday afternoon, they suffered a 3-1 defeat away to West Ham.
The performance suggested that many United players have had enough of Mourinho. And that the manager may have run out of ideas.
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) October 1, 2018
Off the pitch, the former Chelsea manager stripped Paul Pogba of the vice-captaincy and appears to at odds with several players in the squad. Alexis Sanchez, the Premier League's best-paid player, wasn't even in the squad for the West Ham defeat. While Mourinho opted for Scott McTominay, a midfielder, to play in defence, rather than Eric Bailly.
It all points to Mourinho leaving the club at some point over the next few months. It has become a mess and Carragher has said that United's recent performances were borderline disgraceful.
"The last two Manchester United games I've seen live, in midweek in the Carabao Cup and what I saw at the weekend against West Ham, the performances were not far away from a disgrace," he said on Monday Night Football.
The former Liverpool defender then said that Mourinho has lost the support of the United dressing room and that it is no longer controversial to make that claim.
"The problem with that is it's now the third time it has happened. It started at Real Madrid with Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos. When it happened at Chelsea it was Eden Hazard and other players there. Now there's talk of a group led by Paul Pogba at this club so there's no doubt there are massive problems there."
Carragher also highlighted arguably the most damning aspect of United's season so far - their poor work rate.
Of every team in the Premier League, no side recorded fewer sprints than United over the weekend. Mourinho's team only sprinted 58 times between them in the loss to West Ham. At the top of the sprint table, Liverpool recorded 150 sprints against Chelsea.
"What tells me that first of all is when we look at the sprints from the weekend. Now, I could come on this show every Monday and say someone has to be bottom. But it's not so much that they are at the bottom, it's the fact that from the bottom team to the next bottom it's a huge gap."
"Another big problem from being bottom is they were losing the game from very early on. You normally always run more when you are losing, especially after an early goal because you should be chasing the game.
"They should be right at the top and if you actually look at the top, people may say the smaller teams do a lot of running because they don't have the ball. But look at Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, they are still right at the top and they are teams that dominate possession."
Carragher also spoke about a conversation he had with Mourinho back in 2016 following a charity match. The Portuguese coach told him that his experience at Chelsea taught him that he can no longer criticise individual players in front of his teammates.
However, as Carragher noted, Mourinho appears to have returned to that approach at United.
"I'm not speaking out of turn here. I had a conversation with Mourinho after he left Chelsea," Carragher said.
"He was manager at the Soccer Aid game, a charity game. It wasn't just me and him so I'm not betraying confidence. There were four or five people there. The big thing he said he learnt from the Chelsea exit was that you couldn't single out a player in a meeting in front of the other players because the players do not accept this now.
"But it looks as if he has gone back to that or is still doing that at Manchester United. He's stripped Pogba of the captaincy, which I agreed with, but it sounds like it was in front of the players. The players don't want that now and that's why he has lost the dressing room, and it's not the first time."
The former Liverpool defender then questioned whether the methods that brought Mourinho success are now dated.
"People are rightly now asking is that football and style of management from 10 or 15 years ago, is it different now? Do you have to be different with the players? One of his former assistants is saying that. Also his style of football, no other top team at this moment is really playing the way Mourinho's side plays. Is it not conducive to the real top end of the modern game?"
You can watch Carragher and Frank de Boer discuss United's troubled start to the season here: