Following an eighth home draw of the season, nobody could have stopped Jose Mourinho from launching a withering attack on his strikers, and that’s exactly what happened, as the United boss accused his attackers of a lack of consistency.
Facing a West Brom team that was always looking for a goalless draw, Manchester United attackers – Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford – lacked the depth to break them down.
Having seen his men drop points at Old Trafford to Stoke, Burnley, West Ham, Hull, Bournemouth and now West Brom, Mourinho’s patience seemed pretty much exhausted on Saturday.
“In football, especially in teams that want to win things, you need consistency,” said the furious Portuguese.
“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. Deja 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.”
The latest disappointment on Saturday saw the Red Devils enjoying 75 per cent possession against Albion, but failing to end a run of home draws that has left them facing an uphill task if they are to finish in the top four.
Mourinho also blamed his players for 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.