Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel believes that his former club should be aiming to win every match they compete in after growing “bored” of the 0-0 draw with Liverpool last weekend and the tactics employed by manager Jose Mourinho against the Premier League’s biggest teams.
The former United goalkeeper watched on as the two fierce rivals played out a dull 0-0 stalemate for the second time in the space of a year, with the two sides having drawn their last four meetings.
Mourinho has come in for criticism in the past for the tactics that he deploys against title rivals, and he was once again targeted with accusations of ‘parking the bus’ at Anfield as United escaped with a 0-0 draw and a point to maintain their unbeaten run.
Schmeichel joined that chorus on Monday night, with the Dane critical of how Mourinho deployed his side in a similar way to big matches last season.
“Only time will tell if Mourinho has changed enough to change his way in those games,” Schmeichel said on Sky Sports.
“I found it [the game] really boring. It might be naivety or being romantic but I think Manchester United should play to win every game, their style and brand every game and should be good enough to win every game.”
The stats do not help Mourinho’s or United’s cause, given that they have not won an away league game at Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham since the start of 2015 – which includes Louis van Gaal’s final season in charge at Old Trafford. During that time, United have scored just four goals in 10 games and conceded 16 times, with three of their goals coming in a 5-3 defeat by Tottenham in January 2015.
However, Schmeichel did offer Mourinho some support in revealing an instance when Sir Alex Ferguson once tried to employ negative tactics against Liverpool to try and nullify their best assets – something that did not go down well with the United squad at the time.
Ahead of the 1996 FA Cup final, Ferguson asked senior players in his squad to discuss to prospect of altering their tactical approach to try and mark Steve McManaman out of the game.
“I can remember few occasions where we would change,” Schmeichel explained. “One specific game was Liverpool in the FA Cup final, billed to be this incredible final, biggest ever and Sir Alex was afraid of Steve McManaman so wanted to man mark him, which was out of our way of playing.
“He brought in experienced players to discuss and said this is what I’m thinking and our reaction was we didn't like to change. We'd rather go out there and trust in the quality of the team rather than disrupting our rhythm and risk losing.”
United ended up on the winning side of the result, with an 85th-minute Eric Cantona winner securing the Cup for Ferguson’s side.