Manchester United’s stuttering start to the season under Jose Mourinho has been “painful” to watch, according to former Old Trafford striker Dimitar Berbatov.
After a fraught weekend that saw United beaten by West Ham in the Premier League, Mourinho has come further under fire since Tuesday night when his side failed to convince during a drab 0-0 draw with Valencia in the Champions League.
The manager continues to field allegations that he has fallen out with World Cup-winner Paul Pogba, having announced last week that the Frenchman will not captain the side in future, and responded to a claim by former United midfielder Paul Scholes that Mourinho is embarrassing the club by stating he ‘is not interested’ in the two-time Champions League winner’s opinions.
"I am not at Old Trafford any more” Berbatov told Betfair (via The Mirror). “I am not at the training ground, I don't speak with the manager or the players, but looking from the outside, it's not good to see how they're performing right now.
“As a former player it's painful because you want your team to win all the time.
"But as I said before it's not easy to be a manager these days dealing with all these players, all these egos, because big players have big power these days.”
Berbatov’s words come at a time when some United players have been accused of no longer playing for their manager, similar allegations to those that dogged Mourinho during his final months at Chelsea. The Portuguese was sacked from his job at Stamford Bridge in December 2015, six months after leading his team to the title.
"I'm sure everyone at the club is doing everything they can to resolve this small crisis they are in. I still cannot imagine any Manchester United player not putting his all in to turn it around. Players want to enjoy their football and talk up their performances.
"On the pitch I honestly think they want it so bad that they're trying too hard and it's not coming naturally.”
The Bulgarian scored 56 goals during a four-season spell at Old Trafford under Sir Alex Ferguson, helping the club to two Premier league titles.