Manchester United need to make a decision on Jose Mourinho’s future in “the next couple of weeks”, says Lee Sharpe, with the club running the risk of missing out on a top-four finish.
A turbulent opening to the 2018-19 campaign, which has seen the Red Devils make their worst start through seven games to a Premier League season, has the 13-time champions sat 10th in the table.
Inconsistent showings on the field and mounting talk of unrest off it, with Mourinho’s relationship with Paul Pogba continuing to dominate the headlines, has led to calls for change.
Sharpe feels something needs to be done to turn the tide and lift morale at Old Trafford, with an alarming slump suggesting that the current regime has lost control.
The former United winger told talkSPORT: “You can’t have performances and results like they are getting.
“If you’re out of that top four it’s so massive for these clubs these days that you just can’t afford to let it happen.
“If they don’t do anything this week and the results keep going the way they have been going, then a change has to be made sooner rather than later.
“Their performances, although they have won a couple, they haven’t been that great going forward and they haven’t looked that impressive.
“When you look at the likes of City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea, all their rivals are playing quick, high-tempo football and scoring goals, but United are just struggling over the line with results.
“With the Derby result in the week and this one now [against West Ham], plus the thing with Pogba going on, it just heaps pressure on the manager.
“It will be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of weeks.”
Sharpe believes part of the problem facing the Red Devils is that Mourinho has refused to change his ways since taking the reins and has now fallen behind a number of coaching rivals when it comes to his outdated philosophy of football.
“When he was at Chelsea he was very defensive and he liked to play two holding midfielders, and it was good in the era that he was successful at Chelsea.
“But now [Pep] Guardiola and [Jurgen] Klopp have come in and shown that high-tempo, high-pressing, quick-passing and quick-moving football is more successful, and I think Mourinho is struggling with his creativeness.
“He’s got some unbelievable forward-thinking, attacking players in his team and he doesn’t seem to get the best out of them.
“They’re not creating enough chances, they’re not scoring enough goals and they’re giving too many goals away – that’s never going to win you anything.
“Alexis Sanchez was unbelievable at Arsenal, Marcus Rashford has been fantastic but only plays bit parts of games and comes in and out. Anthony Martial is the same, he’ll play a couple of games and then get left out for a couple and that makes it really hard to get any consistency going.
“He’s not getting the best out of his players, there’s a lack of confidence in the squad and there’s an upset in there because of the Pogba situation.
“It’s just a bit messy and unsavoury at the moment.”