After an eighth home draw of the season, Jose Mourinho launched a withering attack on his forward line accusing his attackers of a lack of consistency.
Facing a West Bromwich Albion side that nakedly came for a goalless draw, Manchester United’s strikers – Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford – lacked the guile to break them down. Having seen his side drop points at Old Trafford to Stoke, Burnley, West Ham, Hull, Bournemouth and now West Brom, Mourinho’s patience looked pretty much exhausted.
“In football, especially in teams that want to win things, you need consistency,” said the Manchester United manager. “There are some teams, where you play just to be in the top 10, where talent is always welcome, even if that talent is not consistent – one day, yes, one day no.
“At this level, you need to be consistent for 90 minutes. Valencia was consistent, Bailly was consistent, Rojo was consistent, Carrick was consistent. The others were not consistent. A flash of talent here, a bit of skill there. Déjà vu again.
“Against these teams, if we score a goal, we win 3-0 because a goal opens up the game. We missed easy chances and we had a couple of players who when you look up you don’t see them for 10 minutes. You always see the same guys in front of the train, holding the train up.
“It is disappointing, it is one more draw. To go 19 matches unbeaten is amazing in the modern Premier League but there have been too many draws at home.”
Mourinho accused his players of damaging Manchester United’s reputation as a club whose essential philosophy is to attack. United’s tally of 42 goals this season is 14 fewer than Arsenal’s and 22 less than Liverpool, who have played two matches more.
“We need to kill opponents,” he said. “You see the number of goals we score compared to our dominance of games and the number of goals we score at home. People who do not know and do not watch us would think we are a defensive team, a counter-attacking team and that we do not have ambition. But it is completely the opposite.
“See how many goals Rashford and Martial score and then see how many goals Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) and Juan Mata score – they are the ones with the goals.”
Mourinho refused to attack the way West Brom went about their task. Tony Pulis’s side may have been entirely negative but they showed extraordinary skill and discipline to keep Manchester United at bay. “I am not critical of it,” said Mourinho. “They have come for that result, clearly but I am not critical. One point is good for their objectives.”