Football

Mourinho says players are ‘injury prone’ as pundits lambast Red Devils

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said he inherited a squad of "injury-prone" players after a 3-1 defeat by English Premier League leaders Liverpool yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Goals by Sadio Mane and a Xherdan Shaqiri double ensured United have now conceded more times in the league than they did in the whole of last season, with just over half the campaign left to play.

The Red Devils have also made their worst start to a league season since 1990/91 and are now 19 points adrift of leaders Liverpool in sixth spot.

Said Mourinho: "We have lots of players who I could consider injury prone because some of our players are always injured and it is not with me.

"It was before me. It was if you look to the stats with Mr (Louis) van Gaal and before (him) with David Moyes.

"If you look to that period, we have lots of players who are permanently injured. When you are permanently injured, physicality is very difficult to get.

"Then there are qualities that a player has or does not have. You cannot improve or make them have it...

"I also have lot of good players technically, but we don't have lots of players with that intensity (of Liverpool)."

Former United stalwart Gary Neville, however, took aim at United's lack of technical quality in midfield.

He said on Sky Sports: "I can't get over United's central midfield. If you're Paul Pogba watching (Nemanja) Matic, (Ander) Herrera, (Marouane) Fellaini, Fred, who played the other night... not one of them can pass a football.

"None of them can actually receive and pass the ball. I just find it absolutely staggering. I thought United were awful."

His former teammate Roy Keane went one step further, saying "a lot of" players at United are not good enough to play for the club.

He said on Sky Sports: "I certainly believe a lot of their players are not good enough to be playing for Manchester United.

"They're good players but not good enough for Manchester United. They're so far behind the likes of Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea."

The EPL's all-time top scorer Alan Shearer, meanwhile, said only one United player is playing to his potential.

He said on the BBC: "Only (David) de Gea is playing at anywhere near his potential. The rest are nowhere near it."

Football