Danny Murphy exclusive interview

The ex-Liverpool and Spurs star discusses Liverpool's chances of winning the Premier League, Spurs' woes and more.

Danny Murphy | Sportingbet


Do you think Liverpool will win the league this season?

"Liverpool have started the season brilliantly and I think they’ll go one better and win the Premier League. They obviously came so close last season, but they’ve not dwelled on that at all and it’s made them even more hungry to secure it this time around.

"However, Liverpool’s performances have not been as dominating this season, even when they get the results. This will be a concern for Jurgen Klopp as they’ve relied upon their firepower and creativity up front and the team’s overall determination, to cover up for other mistakes.

"In the last three games, Liverpool have conceded more chances than they would have liked and teams making their way through Liverpool’s defence is likely a major concern for Klopp after having the best defence in the Premier League last season.

"The next two games against Leicester and Manchester United will be a big test for this Liverpool team. I fully expect Liverpool’s performances to improve throughout the season. Mané’s looking electric and Firminio and Salah are playing the role of helping him out at the moment, but they work so well together that when one’s not playing so well, the other two up their game."

Are the chances of any team catching Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League title race already over?

"There’s already no chance of anyone catching Liverpool or City. It doesn’t come as a surprise that these two were going to be fighting it out for the title, but they’re already pulling clear from the so-called closest competition.

"Both teams are equal in terms of quality, consistency and confidence and they both have an air of arrogance that you can sense around both squads. They believe they’re going to win every game and have the confidence that they will find a goal from somewhere.

"The only question mark around Liverpool is whether the front three will stay fit enough throughout the season. Manchester City have much more creativity and squad depth up front than Liverpool with Sterling, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Aguero, Jesus and both Silva’s. An injury to any of Liverpool’s front three is a blow, but two injuries could see them fall off the pace.

"None of the other usual Top 6 teams have the strength or squad depth that Liverpool and Manchester City have. The rest of teams look to be off to a difficult start, with Tottenham not starting well and Manchester United and Arsenal struggling to perform. Chelsea have got off to a decent start and they’re playing with freedom and a good balance but they won’t be consistent enough to push past Liverpool or Manchester City."

Do you think teams are starting to find a chink in Liverpool’s armour?

"The poor performances against Chelsea and Sheffield United are down to Liverpool’s lack of concentration and subconscious arrogance of thinking they can beat every side they play. They’ve taken their foot off the gas and it has shown in the past couple of games.

"Sheffield United gave Liverpool a great game and they played with spirit, balance and quality. It’s inevitable that teams like Sheffield United are setting up differently when playing against Liverpool and trying different tactics but Liverpool are able to adapt and find a way over the line game in, game out. The great thing about Liverpool and Manchester City is that they don’t have to play well to win.

"Klopp will have recognised that Liverpool haven’t been at their best the last few games and will definitely be addressing it in training. I can’t see those performances continuing."

Liverpool’s biggest downfall last season was not being able to convert draws into wins. How does Klopp change that mentality for this season?

"If Liverpool achieve 97 points again this season, they’ll win the League. Klopp will still settle for draws this season as he knows that you can’t have a perfect 100% record. He won’t have to change the team mentality to convert draws to wins as he knows that not every game can be a win."

What’s the most amount of losses Liverpool or City can afford this year, if they want to look towards winning the Premier League title?

"With the high level of football City and Liverpool are playing, neither team can afford to lose more than three of four games this season. Champions used to be able to lose five or six games, but the quality has improved so much, that that’s no longer possible.

"It would be incredible for Liverpool to replicate last season’s feat of just one Premier League loss but there’s definitely room for some error this season.

"Liverpool’s focus needs to be on keeping their players fit in order to get the rotation right to field the best team possible in both the Premier League and Champions League."

What would make a successful season for Liverpool?

"Liverpool will be expecting to win either the Premier League of Champions League this season. Once you start winning trophies, you want to win more and the players will be hungry for more.

"Last year was a freak season and if Liverpool were to achieve 97 points again this season and not win the League, or lost the Champions League final – it’s hard to say it’s not been a successful year. Once you start getting to the top, it’s about keeping consistency. The trophies are a bi-product of that."

How do you think Liverpool will fare against Leicester this weekend?

"I think Liverpool will beat Leicester this weekend, but they will have to up their performance from recent games. Pitting the current Liverpool team against Vardy’s pace and Maddison’s creativity will be interesting to watch and the game is set to be an end to end, entertaining game, especially with Brendan Rodgers returning to Anfield.

"Overall, Liverpool will overpower Leicester. Despite their creativity and confidence, Liverpool are a different force at Anfield and they’ll take all three points."

Brendan Rodgers | Sportingbet

Liverpool could be ruled out of the Carabao Cup due to fielding an ineligible player, if it happens do you think this would be a massive blow for the club?

"The Carabao Cup is not Liverpool’s priority this season but it would be a blow for the youth players if Liverpool were to exit from the Carabao Cup. I’d be surprised if the FA eliminated Liverpool as it is beneficial to the competition to have such a strong side in the competition but, rules are rules.

"Exiting the Carabao Cup would not be a huge financial blow to Liverpool but it’s important for the younger players hoping to get game time to be involved in these domestic cups. Players need experience and domestic trophies give that opportunity to develop talent so it would be a shame for the youth team players if Liverpool were to be eliminated.

"However, I don’t think that the sponsors or the FA will want Liverpool eliminated due to what is probably an admin error at the club, so I think this will all work itself out."

Liverpool haven’t seen much squad rotation as of yet, do you think they’ve still got enough players to compete on all fronts this season?

"Liverpool are more susceptible to issues around squad depth than Manchester City. Liverpool are heavily reliant on their front three and Robertson, so squad rotation could easily become an area for concern. Should Robertson, Firmino, Salah or Mane sustain an injury, Liverpool could be in trouble and may look to the January transfer window for a big signing.

"Players that haven’t been as prominent in the Liverpool squad will come to the forefront this season. There will be more emphasis on Origi and Brewster now that Sturridge has left and Shaqiri will also need to play and contribute more. It will be interesting to see what Klopp does in the upcoming busy period, especially with six players competing for the three midfield spots.

"There isn’t a backup for Robertson if he gets injured, so that will be a slight concern for Liverpool."

Robertson and Alexander-Arnold continue to be great going forwards, but have been tested a few times defensively this season. Do Liverpool risk being exposed at the back with both fullbacks pushing up the pitch so much?

"Robertson and Alexander-Arnold need to mature a little this season, or risk being exposed defensively. They are both excellent when attacking, but they sometimes both push up the pitch when one should hold back.

"Liverpool’s midfield is so disciplined that they pair can afford to attack, as someone will drop in and fill the space. But this doesn’t give them the license to push as soon as they win the ball. Liverpool have been targeted a little on the flanks this year and it’s just something both players will have to be more wary of.

"They’re fantastic players but they need to look at their decision making, because that is what will make them top players. If they can both drop back more and work defensively then they will become even better players for Liverpool."

Are you surprised to see Matip play ahead of Gomez this season?

"It’s surprising that Matip is in the first team ahead of Gomez this season, but I think Gomez could regain his spot soon. Matip has been phenomenal and he’s had the chance to shine with Gomez’s rusty start through injury.

"Gomez has got time to establish himself and get back into the team ahead of Matip, which I believe he will do at some point. Klopp will find it difficult to make that change when Matip is working so well with Virgil Van Dijk but they are conceding chances as a partnership which is never good.

"Gomez will be working hard on his fitness and aiming to get back into the squad but it’s inevitable that he’ll make it back into the squad with the Premier League, Champions League and various Cups."

Oxlade-Chamberlain has managed to stay injury-free so far this season. Do you feel he’s added something different to the starting line-ups?

"This season will be a big season for Oxlade-Chamberlain to impress if he can stay fit. He is dynamic and a more forward-thinking player than Milner, Henderson or Fabinho. He adds something extra and creative to the Liverpool line up but his biggest challenge is staying fit.

"He is a great player – we’ve seen before how well he plays in a Liverpool shirt and we will see it again when he’s fully match fit. Oxlade-Chamberlain needs to steadily progress and up his game time by getting involved in the first team games. Klopp would have had Oxlade-Chamberlain in mind when he didn’t buy anyone in the summer transfer window and he will be eyeing him up for more game time."

Do you think Mo Salah or Mané will win the Golden Boot this season?

"Salah and Mané have got more competition this season for the Golden Boot. But there is potential for either of them to win it, if they stay fit throughout the season.

"They will be up against the usual top players, like Aguero, Kane, but now they also have players like Tammy Abraham breathing down their necks. The biggest challenge for both players is to stay fit because they know that when they play they create chances perfect for them. There isn’t a huge argument for either of them to win, because there’s so much talent elsewhere in the Premier League but they both have a very good chance of winning it."

If Salah or Mane were ever to leave Liverpool, who would be missed more?

"Mane would be as big a miss to Liverpool as Salah. They complement each other so much that they have made each other better players.

"Salah would be missed on the goal-scoring front in terms of sheer quantity of goals but Mane brings something else to the squad. Mane is complete in his work ethic, defensive rate, pressing and in getting back to defend and it’s easy to see that he does better than Salah in this respect."

Alisson is back in training. Do you think he will be feeling the pressure seeing how good Adrian has been in his absence?

"Alisson will go straight back in to the first team, but Adrian’s performances will keep him at the top of his game, as he knows he can be dropped. Alisson knows he’s got the full backing on Klopp and he’s an exceptional keeper, but competition always keeps you on your toes.

"Klopp has complete faith in Alisson but Adrian deserves credit for the performance he’s put in in Alisson’s absence. He’s only made a couple of mistakes but he’s played incredibly well considering he was thrown in at the deep end."

Should Liverpool fans be worried that Klopp is already talking about Gerrard as his replacement?

"Jurgen Klopp can do no wrong and will not be leaving Liverpool any time soon. When he does, it is inevitable that Steven Gerrard will return to manage the club but not even Gerrard would want that right now.

"Klopp enjoys his job, the fans love him and the players play for him so there is no reason for him to leave Liverpool now or any time soon. With regards to Gerrard, there is an inevitability that he will return to Liverpool as manager and everyone thinks that he will be back."

Steven Gerrard | Sportingbet

Do you think Jurgen Klopp would ever leave Liverpool before winning the Premier League?

"Whether Jurgen Klopp wins the Premier League or not will not be the reason he leaves the club. Klopp will only leave the club when the players no longer play the way he wants and the evidence is in their final points and league position.

"If Liverpool ended a season on less than 72 points instead of 95 or 97, then Jurgen Klopp would feel the level of performance dropping and know that something has gone wrong. The only way I think that Jurgen Klopp would leave Liverpool is if he feels that he’s doing something wrong and not doing his job well enough. That decision will not be based upon on winning the league or not, it will only be decided based on the way the players are playing and what support the manager feels he has from the players."

If you swapped Klopp and Pep Guardiola with each other, do you think Pep would win the Premier League with the current Liverpool team?

"Klopp and Pep are two of the best coaches and if you swapped the two managers, both teams would still be exactly where they are now. Both managers are getting the maximum they can out of their squads and you would not see any difference if you swapped them.

"Both managers play differently but there is no difference in the level of football they manage to get out of their squads. Pep would get the same out of the Liverpool squad that Klopp has done. With Liverpool Champions of Europe and getting 97 points in the Premier League, I don’t see how there is much more for the Liverpool players to give."

If Klopp wasn’t manager of the current Liverpool team, do you think they would still be performing at the same standard?

"There is no one out there who would get more out of the current Liverpool team than Jurgen Klopp has done. He has got a brilliant formula going on at the club that works for him and the players and no one springs to mind to do the job better than Klopp.

"Both Pep and Klopp have set the bar so high in what they’re doing at their clubs that there is no one who could compare to replace them and get more out of each of their teams. Klopp motivates the team to play with intensity week-in, week-out and that is incredible."

Is it more important for your manager to have the experience of previously winning a league, or for the players to have that experience?

"Liverpool’s players winning the Champions League will give them the winning mentality they need to push for the League. Liverpool have got winners in both their players and management team and that is a key factor in getting a winner mentality.

"It isn’t a question of nerves as to whether Liverpool can win competitions and titles, because there is no evidence of inexperience in the squad. Last season will have prepared Liverpool for the future because each game was such a high-pressure game that none of the Liverpool players could ever be classed as inexperienced in top-level football. Both players and management team have been winners before and will be intent on becoming winners again – the winning mentality is what will be key, more than previous experience of a specific win."

Liverpool didn’t bring any new faces to the squad over the summer. Do you think this will come back to haunt them later in the season?

"Klopp will be patient if has big players in mind that he wants to sign but if their luck runs out, injuries could force his hand in the January transfer window.

"Luck has been a major factor for Liverpool in that their front three are fit and on form right now but, if one of those front three get injured then Liverpool could be looking at the January transfer window to fill that gap. There are a lot of options for Klopp with the likes of Brewster, Origi, Shaqiri and Oxlade-Chamberlain and potentially Lallana. Klopp will make the right decision for the club based on the way he sees the players in training, but if there are serious injuries then it could be vital to sign someone in the January window."


Tottenham are already 10 points off the top, what’s gone wrong for them?

"Tottenham now have a higher expectation to succeed and have to get used to being under the microscope every week. They’ve been unlucky with a few injuries, but they’ve got a stronger squad this season so they should be able to deal with that.

"The age of letting players run their contracts down to the final year hasn’t helped and can’t be allowed to continue. They could potentially lose three massive players next season in Eriksen, Alderweireld and Vertonghen, which isn’t great for the club, but can also annoy the players sitting on the bench. If you see a player getting ahead of you in the team, but they’re leaving the next transfer window, then you start to ask questions about your own future at the club.

"Pochettino isn’t looking happy at the moment and he’s normally very positive, which is worrying to see but they are still a top quality club that have established themselves as a top four team. Overall, they have good players, specifically with Ndombele, Winks and Kane looking so strong and sharp, so I don’t worry for Tottenham this season.

"Tottenham will improve throughout the season and have a good run of games to get them back to their winning ways and this will rescue their season. Tottenham are a top four team and will be in there come the end of the season."

Have Tottenham already conceded any chance of winning the Premier League this season?

"Tottenham haven’t got a chance of beating either Liverpool or Manchester City to the Premier League trophy this season. They are a top-class side but they’re not at the same level as either Liverpool or Manchester City.

"Tottenham don’t possess the level of football or consistency that City and Liverpool have in order to seriously compete with the top of the table. Tottenham need to improve away from home and start gaining points in away games before they can compete with the levels of Manchester City or Liverpool."

What do you think would be a successful season for Tottenham?

"Tottenham finishing in the top four and having a good run in the FA Cup or in Europe should be deemed as a successful year at the club. The need to be careful with trying to run before they can walk. They’ve just moved in to their new stadium and have only been a top four team for the past few seasons.

"The club and fans are desperate for a trophy, but a good season for Tottenham would be staying within the Top Four in the Premier League, qualifying for the Champions League quarter finals and they’d, of course, love a good run in the FA Cup. Any further than that should be seen as a massive win for Tottenham, as they are based on progression and building their brand, with the new ground, the new training facility and bringing in fresh players in the summer that will help them get to where they want to be. To show that Tottenham have progressed since last season, they would have to show that they’ve advanced and beat the bar they’ve set for themselves."

How many players do you think Tottenham are away from being genuine title contenders?

"If Tottenham lose Erisken, Alderweireld and Vertonghen next season, then they’re five or six players off being genuine title contenders. They’ll have to spend a hell of a lot of money to replace those three players, which will only make them as good as they were.

"On top of replacing those three, they would then have to bring in another two or three massive names. It doesn’t seem realistic. They need to strengthen the right back area and find another creative player, as they don’t look too strong in those areas as it stands."

Do you think Tottenham’s near misses in the Champions League and Premier League over the past couple of seasons has left the players feeling deflated?

"Tottenham coming so close to winning the Champions League will have deflated the team a little this season. The players need to maintain confidence in their abilities to continue consistent attempts at trophies.

"It’s heartbreaking to come so close to winning it and falling at the final hurdle. I think a few will be disappointed with their performance in the final, which was really their chance to show their quality. They need to look past this now and use it to drive them on to go again, rather than thinking what could have been.

"Tottenham have shown strong performances; top quality and they’ve taken confidence from this over the past couple of years – which will only spur them on this season. A lot of Tottenham players have grown and improved under Pochettino and they’ve grown into a better team collectively for that.

"Looking at the bigger picture, they’ve shown an unbelievable spirit to get out of last year’s Champions League group when they were dead and buried. They should take a lot of positives from last year’s campaign to then bring into this year and if they take this mentality, a top four position is there for the taking for Tottenham."

Eriksen was very public about his intention to leave this summer and he’s not started this season to his usual high standards. Do you think it’s more damaging to have him in the starting team?

"If Eriksen is still fully focused on his football, then Tottenham have no choice but to play him every game. He is still a very strong asset and player for Tottenham and they are a better team when he plays.

"Pochettino has to make the decision based on what he sees in Eriksen in training and how he knows he is feeling mentally towards Tottenham. Only then can he make the best decision for the club. If Eriksen’s not feeling like he can produce the same level of performance and he’s faced with the inevitability of his contract running out, then that’s something that Pochettino will have to consider when picking the starting XI.

"A fully-fit and focused Eriksen is such a boost to the Tottenham squad that gives them a real creative edge but the question is around whether he is focused and mentally in the right place to play. He opens teams up with his brilliant passing so it would a waste not to use his talent."

Christian Eriksen | Sportingbet

Aurier had a great few games, then got sent off against Southampton. Can Tottenham rely on him as the starting fullback?

"Aurier was ill-disciplined against Southampton and will need to learn from the incident quickly otherwise it will raise concerns at Tottenham. Walker-Peters could replace him if he slips up again.

"I think Pochettino would have given Aurier a real grilling after the Southampton game, because they’re under pressure at the moment and he could have cost them the game. Tottenham were winning and it was half an hour in to the game, so there’s no excuse for the challenges he put in. It’s hard to implement your trust in someone when they’re supposed to be your experienced player in that position and they make rash decisions like that.

"Trippier was a better player, for me, but it was Pochettino’s decision to let him go. Tottenham should be looking at who can effectively fill that fullback position with experience and it happens that that’s Aurier at the moment but they will be looking towards bringing a right-back in the window."

What do you make of Ndombele’s performance, so far?

"Ndombele is already proving himself to be a great signing for Tottenham and he will improve at the club. He needs to adapt to the physicality of the football that Tottenham play but he’s given them something different that they were lacking.

"Pochettino will help Ndombele grow into an even better player and that will only develop his confidence more. He will be a very strong player for Tottenham and what we are seeing now is only the start of what he will achieve with the club. His confidence, skill and goal-scoring ability are aspects that make him into a brilliant player and he is set to be a fan favourite."

Can Alli get back to his best?

"Alli is going through a spell in his career that players usually go through a little later, but it’s to be expected when you come on the scene as young as he did. He’s played a lot of games and had a lot of pressure put on him to deliver from a young age, but I have no doubt that he’ll be back to his best soon.

"He’s got an air of freedom to his games that’s rare to find, but he doesn’t hide away or stick to playing it safe, which is why he’s a joy to watch. He’s had a stop-start few months with injuries, which he’s hopefully over now but it’s going to take time to get back to his best.

"The league is so tough now that even being 10% off your game can make a real difference. He just needs to get minutes under his belt and he’ll be back to his best. Kane will be wanting him back on the pitch as soon as possible, as they have such a great chemistry with each other that I feel Tottenham have missed.

"There’s a few new faces in the squad now, so Alli will have to really perform on the pitch and in training to get back in to the first team – but I have no doubt that he will."

Where is Sessegnon’s best position?

"I don’t think Pochettino has decided how he’s going to best use Sessegnon yet. He’s got a great attacking mind and I personally would like to see him playing higher up the pitch as it relieves him of having to focus too much on his defensive duties.

"He would be perfect as a wing-back in a back five, but in a back four, his eagerness to attack could leave him a little exposed on the counter-attack. It’s hard to see where he suits best until he gets back in training and starts getting minutes under his belt. I don’t think Pochettino will limit him to one position when he starts playing and he’s so young that he’s got the time to mould him and work out his best position."

Will Lo-Celso get straight in to Tottenham’s first-team?

"Lo-Celso will improve other players once he’s back from injury. He’s new to the Tottenham team and will want to fight for a place in the first team, and if others aren’t going to show the same grit, then he’ll start ahead of them.

"He’ll be back on it in training when fit again and it’s good for the team. They didn’t make any signings last season, so now the players have a bit more competition for their place and it will show Pochettino which players are ready to raise their game and are willing to fight for their place and the club."

Will Tottenham pursue Dybala again in the January window?

"Tottenham won’t sign Dybala unless they’re planning on shipping another big name player out. Tottenham have a wealth of attacking players that play in a similar position to Dybala and I can’t see them waiting around if he’s signed.

"Dybala would be an amazing signing for the club, but if he starts, I can’t see the likes of Dele Alli or Lucas Moura being happy with moving down the pecking order and sitting on the bench.

"Dybala isn’t going to be cheap and I think that will be the main reason the transfer doesn’t materialise."

Does Pochettino still have a long-term future at Tottenham?

"Pochettino’s the right man for the job at Tottenham, but it’s looking more and more likely that his time at the club is coming to an end. He’s been a real breath of fresh air for the club and the Premier League, but a few of his statements of the past few months have clearly shown that something isn’t right.

"There’s definitely a good opportunity for him to progress the team and once all the new signings are fit, they will definitely improve the team, but it appears that he’s questioning his future.

"I can’t see him making a decision until next summer. Whatever happens, he’ll want to see this season out and then decide where he wants to go from there."

Would Pochettino be a good choice for Real Madrid?

"Pochettino would have to massively adapt his managerial style if he were to take over at Real Madrid. He’s use to motivating and managing young hungry players, which is a different kettle of fish to motivating and managing superstars.

"It would be a very different job for him, but I feel he would be able to deliver. He’s shown his coaching ability and ways of being able to adapt to different circumstances, so it would just be a case of changing his mindset.

Mauricio Pochettino | Sportingbet

"He’s used to working with players for long periods of time and pushing them to constantly improve, but we know that there will be a higher turnover at Madrid and a different mentality. Overall, I can’t see Tottenham letting him leave without a fight."


Who will win the Champions League?

"City and Pep’s desire to win the Champions League could be enough for them to take it home this season. If it comes down to seriously going for either the Premier League, or the Champions League, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pep put all his eggs in one basket and go for the Champions League.

"Unless they meet beforehand, I wouldn’t be surprised if Liverpool and City met in the final. Barcelona are always going to be the main threat and Juventus will be right behind them. With the issues currently going on at Real Madrid, I would be surprised if they won it this season."

Do you think VAR is helping the game?

"VAR hasn’t improved the game and unless it’s improved then it needs to go. The premise of having it is great, but it’s been a failure in more ways than one. There’s been too many incidents where the decision has clearly been wrong and not overruled. It may be a case of the officials having too much respect for each other, so they don’t overrule glaring mistakes.

"They have the ability to call an offside down to a millimetre, but fail to intervene on blatant fouls and handballs. It’s penalising certain players and decisions, whilst letting others slide. It needs to be all or nothings."

What’s the biggest issue with VAR?

"The mass confusion VAR has caused is the biggest issue with its introduction to the game. Football is at its finest when it’s flowing and the fans are invested in the action, but that’s slowly no longer becoming the case. There’s been times that fans and players haven’t celebrated goals because they’re waiting for VAR to give it the thumbs up. It takes away from the enjoyment of the game.

"The reason you watch a game of football is to see your team hit the back of the net. When you’ve celebrated a goal and the fans are up on their feet, only to find out 2 minutes later it’s being disallowed – it gives your opponents a real boost and will affect you mentally."


How big a game Man Utd vs Liverpool for the team and Solskjaer?

"Solskjaer could be in a lot of trouble if Utd take a serious beating from Liverpool after the international break. Every player and member of staff is in the spotlight and every decision and action is being judged. It doesn’t matter who Utd play now, every game is as big as the next.

"Man Utd need every player fit if they’re to stand a chance of getting some consistency back. Without Pogba, Martial and Rashford all playing at the same time, Utd look very average. The Liverpool game will shine a light on how much these players really want to turn the club around. Playing Liverpool isn’t just about the 3 points, it’s getting one over your rivals and making a statement."

Should Utd stick with Solskjaer?

"Solskjaer future shouldn’t be decided until he has a fully fit squad again, but still needs to be grinding results out until then. There’s an understanding from the fans that they have a young squad and it’s going to take time to rebuild, but there’s still an expectancy to deliver if you want to manage a club of Utd’s stature.

"His recruitment policy is definitely a step in the right direction for the club. The three summer signings have started well and have longevity rather than a quick fix solution.

"Utd’s attacking issues start from the back. The club never replaced Carrick, which has caused a real disconnect between the defence and attack. They haven’t got someone in the middle of the park dictating play and connecting the back line to the front line."

Have Man Utd got the squad to compete on all fronts?

"Some serious questions need to be asked on how Utd let both Lukaku and Sanchez leave without being replaced. There’s next to no strength and depth at the club, so there’s not much they can change. The pressure is starting to pile up on a select few players to deliver and that pressure increase after every loss.

"It was a big mistake letting Sanchez leave. He hadn’t had a great time at Utd, but I feel Mourinho played a big part in that and this could have been a fresh season for him. He’s not a player that had to prove himself, everyone is aware what he can deliver when firing on all cylinders. In these situations, you need to have your experienced players in the changing room and Utd have lost two big figures in Sanchez and Lukaku, without replacing them."