By Coral Barry
Manchester United are not a team to be feared anymore and have lost their ethos, according to former player Teddy Sheringham.
Louis Van Gaal’s side have been given fresh hope of a top four finish this season after Manchester City slipped up with a 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Sunday, but Sheringham believes the club’s ethos has been eroded by the current management.
While Leicester City have been crowned Premier League champions, United are back in fifth and in a rat race to try and sneak the final Champions League spot in the final two games of the campaign and Sheringham has suggested the Red Devils have lost their fear factor.
“They’re not really playing with the flamboyance of a Manchester United team that you would expect,” said Sheringham speaking on Goals on Sunday. “Funnily enough, I’ll use Leicester as an example from years ago when they were one of the struggling teams.
“If we went to Leicester and it was 0-0 with five minutes to go, the Leicester fans would be absolutely delighted that they were still holding Manchester United to a draw.
“There doesn’t seem to be that kind of feel [to United] at the moment, it’s more like ‘No, we can beat this team’, United don’t have that scare factor.
“Manchester United are not walking into town and saying ‘we’re coming here to rip you apart and you’ll do well to hang on to us’.
“It’s a type of thing now where teams think they can go to United and get a result. The feeling always was [from United] that we were going to take on anyone and blow them out of the water.
“Teams could not stay with us and that was the ethic that Sir Alex had. Yes, they’re getting results and yes, things have been okay, but at Manchester United it’s got to be better than that.”
United have failed to challenge for the league since the departure of Alex Ferguson in 2013 and have endured disappointments after disappointments under Van Gaal since he took over from David Moyes in 2014.
Van Gaal’s failure to return United to the top of the English game has garnered immense criticism, with reports mounting that Jose Mourinho has already been lined up as his replacement in the summer.
Despite their troubles, United have an FA Cup final to look forward to against Crystal Palace.
Sheringham thinks claiming fourth spot may have a big impact on Van Gaal’s position as manager, but is adamant a final triumph would have little bearing on the Dutchman’s future.
Asked whether the FA Cup alone could save Van Gaal, the former United striker said: “For me, it’s not nice, but no. I know what it’s like to lose your job, but it needs to be better.”