Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has issued a brutal verdict on Manchester United’s Premier League title chances.
United have endured a tricky start to the season, initially impressing in the Premier League before going on a run of just one win in four games ahead of this evening’s Champions League clash with Villarreal.
That run started with a shock Champions League defeat to Young Boys, and it was followed by a Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham and a Premier League defeat to Aston Villa, both at home.
Those results have left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer once again under pressure, especially because of the investments made by the club this summer to bring in the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho.
And pundit Merson has joined in with the criticism, writing United off as title condenders despite their talented squad, and largely because of the man in charge.
“They need to get the right team – you are playing Aston Villa at home, who have not really got going this season, although if you beat them, it is still a good three points,” he told Sky Sports.
“But there is no need at Old Trafford to be playing two holding midfielders against Villa. Take the game to Villa straight away, if I’m them, that is telling me they are worried about us.
“The balance is all wrong and I said when Cristiano Ronaldo came he would not be the same player, and did Ole Gunnar Solskjaer really need him?
“This is the way I look at it – if Thomas Tuchel, Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola were at Man Utd, they would have every single chance of winning the Premier League, it is as simple as that.
“But I’ve said from day one they have no chance of winning the Premier League.”
No chance might be a bit strong given the talent at Solskjaer’s disposal this season, but the Reds certainly aren’t among the favourites given the talent Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City have.
And as Merson points out, all three have more talented and experienced managers at the helm, and all three managers have a history of winning silverware, unlike Solskjaer.