Nemanja Vidic has admitted he believes most of Man United’s struggles have been down to a ‘problem with mentality in the players’.
United have endured a season filled with highs that have almost immediately been followed by embarrassing lows, and it has massively hindered their progress.
On numerous occasions, Jose Mourinho’s men have had a result go their way that made it appear as though they are far better than they are given credit for, but soon after, they get slapped back into reality.
Take the 2-1 win over Liverpool in March as an example. United suddenly seemed on top of the world, as if they were the best team in the country, but three days later, they were embarrassed by Sevilla at Old Trafford to end their run in the Champions League.
Last week, they came from 2-0 down to beat City 3-2 in the derby, and once again lost themselves in the result. As Mourinho described it, ‘they were over the moon’ as they prolonged City’s title celebrations for while longer.
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However, just eight days later, they practically handed the title to their cross-town rivals by suffering an embarrassing home defeat to West Brom – a team that previously hadn’t won a game since August.
According to United legend and former captain Nemanja Vidic, it is that celebratory, overconfident mentality that is the key difference between the players under Sir Alex Ferguson’s watch and Mourinho’s present day crop of stars.
The Serbian opened up to the extent at which Sir Alex kept his squad grounded, and shockingly revealed that him and his teammates hardly celebrated winning the Champions League back in 2008, because the legendary Scotsman was already thinking about what improvements he could make to his squad in the following season.
‘It seems like he is saying there is a problem with mentality in the players. I think the Man United players know every game is important and they have to win,’ Vidic is quoted as saying in Metro.
‘You play for Man United, it’s not acceptable to draw or lose, always you have a high expectancy.
‘We won the Champions League and we didn’t celebrate. We had two hours of celebration, go on holiday, and the manager was thinking: “Who will we bring in next season to compete?”’