Blogs & Opinion

Manchester United: Graeme Souness says champions must improve

Graeme Souness - Graeme Souness Posted 24th November 2013 view comments

Manchester United must stop relying on their star players to bail them out if they are to push for the Premier League title, says Graeme Souness.

David Moyes' side sit sixth in the top flight, seven points in arrears of leaders Arsenal, following the Super Sunday draw at Cardiff, in which City midfielder Kim Bo-Kyung netted a late equaliser for the hosts.

Deadly duo: United need to help out Van Persie and Rooney, says Souness

Deadly duo: United need to help out Van Persie and Rooney, says Souness

Read our match report here

Wayne Rooney - who Souness feels should have been sent off in Wales following an altercation with Jordon Mutch during the embryonic stages of the encounter - netted one of United's goals, with Patrice Evra adding the second.

You can't write United off but they are not looking a strong team at the moment.

Graeme Souness
Quotes of the week

But Souness reckons that unless the reigning Premier League champions engineer some better team play and don't just rely on Rooney and strike partner Robin van Persie's goal-getting, they will struggle to challenge at the summit of the division.

"You expect United's really good players to do something as an individual and that is what is getting them through games at the moment because they are not firing on all cylinders collectively," said the Sky Sports analyst.


"They should have come to Cardiff, dominated the ball and had chance after chance, but they didn't and are just huffing and puffing at the moment.

"You can't write them off as we know United generally get stronger at the turn of the year but they are not looking a strong team at the moment.

"I thought Cardiff were fabulous, though, and matched United.

"They have come up from the Championship but had 50 per cent of possession, stuck to their pass-and-move game-plan and caused Man United problems - and should make their stadium a fortress."

Cardiff hitman Fraizer Campbell - who notched twice as his side beat Manchester City earlier in the campaign - scored City's first against United before seeing a delightful chip crash off David de Gea's crossbar later on.

Souness' fellow Sky Sports pundit Glenn Hoddle lavished praise on the former United youngster and says he could force his way into England's World Cup squad if he continues to impress for his club.


The ex-Spurs manager also saluted Cardiff boss Malky Mackay for his attacking approach and believes the onetime Watord chief's side will preserve their Premier League status if they carry on in the same vein.

On Campbell, whose solitary England appearance came against Netherlands in February 2012, Hoddle said: "He is a good mover and likes to get in behind and if he can play in the Cardiff team week in, week out he might get on the plane [to Brazil].

"England are not flush with finishers at the moment, while Campbell has done it against top quality teams [United and City] and playing with better players, no disrespect to Cardiff, he could get more goal-scoring opportunities, so maybe he is worth a look at."

Hoddle added: "Mackay, too, has been fantastic.

"His side have beaten City and drawn with United, so if they can get up for the teams down at the bottom they will stay up because they have a fantastic fan-base who get right behind the team.

"They also look to have the squad and are playing good football and are not just going in with the idea of 'defend, defend, defend'."

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Ed Chamberlin

Made for Mourinho

Ed Chamberlin says a trip to high-flying Liverpool is a situation made for tactical master Jose Mourinho....

Glenn Hoddle

Pep 'trying too hard'

Glenn Hoddle says Pep Guardiola is trying too hard to evolve and has made Bayern Munich worse....

Latest News RSS feeds

Sturridge eyes Chelsea return

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has confirmed that he is hoping to feature against Chelsea this weekend.

Guardiola defends tactics

Pep Guardiola defended Bayern Munich's possession football in the wake of their Champions League defeat at Real Madrid.

Chelsea trio charged by FA

Chelsea trio Jose Mourinho, Rui Faria and Ramires have all been charged with misconduct by the Football Association.

No WC guarantee for Januzaj

Adnan Januzaj's agent insists that Belgium have not given any guarantees that he will be going to the World Cup finals.

Lloris: The only way is up

Hugo Lloris admits it will be difficult for Spurs to be any worse next season following a torrid league campaign.


Andy Walker: Rangers fans deserve more than just promotion

Andy Walker: Rangers fans deserve more than just promotion

Sky's live showing of Saturday's home game with Stranraer should be a carnival atmosphere for every Rangers supporter as they celebrate seeing Ally McCoist and his players raise the SPFL League 1 trophy.

Sky Sports Scout, in association with Wyscout, reports on Italian keeper Simone Scuffet

Sky Sports Scout, in association with Wyscout, reports on Italian keeper Simone Scuffet

Sky Sports Scout is our exciting feature where we scour the globe, in partnership with Wyscout, looking out for the best talent and bring you a report on what we find.

Squad selector

Squad selector

Pick your 23 to go to World Cup with England. How does your squad compare to Sky Sports' experts?