Paul Merson has claimed that it’s “absolutely impossible” for Manchester United to be able to start challenging the likes of Liverpool FC and Manchester City next season following their appointment of a new permanent manager in the summer.
The Red Devils are currently on the hunt for a new head coach as they aim to bring in a permanent successor for interim boss Ralf Rangnick ahead of the start of next season.
Manchester United opted against bringing in a new permanent manager following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal at the end of last year and instead appointed Rangnick until the end of the current campaign, with the German set to move into a consultancy role when the season is over.
Former Arsenal and England midfielder has now claimed that Manchester United are “a million miles off” and that the club is “a bit of a shambles” as they look to reverse their stuttering fortunes on the pitch.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson said: “Manchester United are a million miles off. The club are the same on the pitch as they are off it – a bit of a shambles.
“An interim manager is in place, and then they are going to look for someone permanent in the summer, which will give whoever they appoint a month or two to get the team ready to try and challenge Manchester City and Liverpool again.
“It’s impossible, absolutely impossible.”
Merson also delivered a damning verdict of Manchester United’s performance during their 4-1 derby defeat by Manchester City at The Etihad on Sunday afternoon.
Pep Guardiola’s men dominated possession and ended up coasting to victory to boost their title hopes and dent Manchester United’s bid to finish in the top four.
The defeat left United fifth in the table and a point behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have played three games fewer than the Red Devils.
Merson continued: “People are getting a bit carried away with how much of a shock it [Man City’s 4-1 win] was, I’d have been shocked if Manchester City hadn’t won by three goals.
“But there are ways to lose football matches, and at 3-1 Manchester United literally gave up. You might as well have just stopped the game there and then and let everyone go home.
“I’m not shocked. We’ve seen it before for United, they were just as bad in October at Old Trafford, City just didn’t score as many goals that day.
“No disrespect, but it looked as though a team from the Conference were playing Manchester City. The possession stats from the final 15 minutes, 92 per cent to City and eight per cent to United, were generous – I don’t remember United having that much of the ball!”
Manchester United are in Premier League action on Saturday evening when they take on Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Saturday.
After that, the Red Devils will face Atletico Madrid at Old Trafford on Tuesday 15 March as they look to book their spot in the Champions League quarter-finals following their 1-1 draw in Spain in the first leg.
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Source: Sport Review