Martin Keown believes that the Manchester United players may be best served ignoring the instructions of manager Jose Mourinho, if they want to turn their season around.
United travel to Anfield to take on high-flying Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, with the fortunes of the two teams contrasting to say the least. Liverpool are unbeaten in their opening 16 Premier League games, sitting an incredible 16 points ahead of their great rivals.
The team's performances under Mourinho this season have been disastrous, and they are playing like a side without any real direction. Speaking on BBC's Football Focus, former Arsenal defender Martin Known stated his belief that the player's might actually be better off ignoring their manager:
These performances are some of the worst we've seen from United in 25 years. They are there for the taking - these United players almost need to stop listening to their manager now.
If this is how they're being told to play, the players are on their own - I don't know the identity of this United team...
They're almost dreading games. Whether they change the manager is another thing but every game feels like a crisis now.
Mourinho has an incredible job there but the 'special one' has become the 'lonely one'. He's almost enjoying the process of it coming to an end.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) December 15, 2018
Mourinho's days in the job certainly seem numbered, and there seems to be little motivation on his behalf to change that fact. He has seemed resigned to his inevitable fate since the outset of the season, accepting the onset of the famous 'third season syndrome' associated with his managerial stints.
The Portuguese boss certainly seems a much different figure that entered the English game in 2004. There was a time when it seemed that his players would do anything for Mourinho, with past players remarking on his incredible motivational skills.
In contrast, his stay at United has been littered with spats with his own squad, many of whom seem to have given up on the current regime. Despite spending vast amount of money on 'marquee' signings, the club seems further away from contending than ever.
It seems as though the only way things will change at Old Trafford is through huge amounts of personnel change, at all levels of the club. Mourinho is likely to be the first victim, but it is doubtful he will be the last.