‘Give us a break’: Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United squad now cannot be compared to great teams of oldDecember 6, 2018
Jose Mourinho has once again lowered the expectations of his Manchester United team as their winless Premier League run continues.
The 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Wednesday means it is now four games without victory in the top flight for the Old Trafford club.
Now 19 points adrift of league leaders Manchester City and eight behind fourth place Chelsea, Mourinho has already given up on a title challenge and an automatic Champions League place for next season.
The only route back into Europe’s premier club competition could be by winning the trophy itself.
Prior to the visit of the Gunners he claimed that a top six finish – United are currently eighth behind Everton and Bournemouth – would be the target between now and the end of the season.
And in another attempt to dampen any belief around the club, Mourinho insists his current side cannot even be remotely compared to United squads of yesteryear.
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He said: “I have to disagree with people who try to compare this to teams of Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Nemanja Vidic, give us a break and time.
“I am happy with the soul and heart, but we are not consistent and uniform.
“We drew 2-2, but we scored four goals. As always we made mistakes and we paid for the mistakes.
“Even in matches like today where we played well we always shoot ourselves. Our problem is a having performance like this without the mistakes we made. We are always punished.”
Mourinho made seven changes for the visit of Arsenal, whose unbeaten run was stretched to 20 games thanks to some slack defending from the home side.
David de Gea allowed Shkodran Mustafi’s header to slip through his grasp as Arsenal took the lead before Marcos Rojo gifted the ball to substitute Alexandre Lacazette to re-establish the visitors’ advantage.
Injuries to Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof forced Mourinho to hand a full Premier League debut to Diogo Dalot, a maiden appearance of the campaign to Rojo and a rare outing to Matteo Darmian.
And the coach feels his side coped well in the circumstances, but criticised Arsenal’s theatrics during the 90 minutes.
The ex-Chelsea and Real Madrid boss added: “Our defensive players were completely dead.
“Arsenal were wanting the draw, diving, getting the game stopped, waiting for the game to go to the end and all the defensive players were dead, physically, because of the circumstances.
“Behind was a kid (Dalot) with a first start, and Eric, half injured and without playing for a long time, Smalling injured, was Marcos Rojo in the first minute of his season, Darmian with a third start, so difficult circumstances.
“The reality is in the last four matches we didn’t lose, bad results apart from Young Boys the three draws were three bad results and before that we lost against Manchester City, everybody loses (against them) not just us, and then before that we had a period where we were playing in our limits which is sometimes people don’t understand.”