Manchester United star Juan Mata has beaten some of his team-mates for ‘not living up to the club’s standards’ this season and he insists ‘culture must be reset’ at Old Trafford after a gloomy campaign.
The Red Devils were one of the favorites for the Premier League title at the start of the season after securing high-profile signatures Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, but the team has failed to deliver consistency and has not even managed to produce a top four ranking.
Their poor form meant Ole Gunnar Solskjær was fired from his role, while interim manager Ralf Rangnick was unable to influence the team much, which has stumbled to a mediocre end to the campaign.
Juan Mata has hit Man United’s underperforming stars for ‘not living up to standards’
The Red Devils have endured a miserable season and seem to be missing out on the top four despite being favorites for the pre-season title
Mata – who has been at Old Trafford for the last nine seasons and was expected to leave the club on a free transfer this summer – has been unimpressed by the attitude of some players, saying the squad did not live up to the high standards expected of this famous football club.
– It is clear that we have made many mistakes on the field, Mata told Athletic.
“We could also have handled certain situations that happened at the club, manager changes, negative things better. I think in the end we might let that affect Carrington’s energy too much.
‘Certain standards were not met. Whether it’s attitude, training level, off the pitch that does not include players, I think we all agree, if we are completely honest and talk to certain people in the club, we have not been good enough. And that’s where I think we could learn. There were also certain things that were beyond our control that we should not allow ourselves to be influenced.
Mata admitted that the team has ‘made a lot of mistakes’ this season and shown bad attitude
‘Of course you feel that way when you see that certain things are not good enough. But we should not have let things happen. Many circumstances can affect certain behaviors. If you do not have a solid base when it comes to bad things, it is difficult to stick together. ‘
Erik ten Hag is set to start working as United’s new manager on Monday, and the Dutchman has a huge job on hand to transform the mentality of a broken team.
Mata has called for a ‘reset’ of United to change their ‘culture’ – and brutally stated that anyone not ‘up to the task’ should leave Old Trafford.
‘We need a reset in the club’s culture. That’s how I feel. The standards, what it means to represent this club to any player, what entitles you to play for Manchester United, what is expected on and off the pitch.
The Spaniard said the players had not reached their true potential when Ole Gunnar Solskjær and his successor Ralf Rangnick failed to make the squad tick
‘Many things need to be clear – it’s Manchester United and anyone who does not meet these standards is not ready for the task and should not be here. It’s as clear as I can be. ‘
United’s turbulent season has had few bright sparks, though Ronaldo’s form has given the team some highlights – with the Portuguese ace scoring 24 goals to mark his adventurous return to Old Trafford.
But players who were expected to shine, such as Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes, have failed to produce regular quality, and Mata pointed out that the club’s biggest problem this season has been the inability to get the best out of their top. players.
“From a manager’s point of view, victory will come closer when you get the best out of every single player in the squad; those who play more, those who play less,” he added. ‘And unfortunately I do not think it has happened this season. For me, it’s a big problem, rather than the specifics of tactics or whatever.
He said United lacked ‘top-class individuals in all divisions’, with rivals Man City and Liverpool ahead of them in terms of team depth and quality players in their squads.
He insists that any player who is not “up to scratch” at Old Trafford should leave the club
Mata believes the club lacks ‘top-class individuals in all divisions’ – after relying heavily on Cristiano Ronaldo this season
Ten Hag is set to plan his summer business when he comes to work in Carrington and has identified a number of goals – including Barcelona’s Frenkie De Jong – as well as a clearout of up to ten players.
“I’m not able to choose leaders,” Mata continues. – What I do know is that this club is in Manchester United and needs first class individuals for every division. This is how I understand Manchester United. This club must be at the top of the class in all departments, on the field or off. That’s the only way I see this club compete for the biggest trophies.
‘That’s what I hope for in the near future, otherwise you can not compete with clubs that do really good things with a certain identity and professionalism in the way they make decisions. They get the results they deserve because they do the right things.
‘When you think of Manchester United, you think of the best possible level, as far as I understood football when I was growing up. I do not understand this club without having first-class individuals for each department. ‘