Man Utd: Is there a mental block in semi-finals?
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been urged to follow in his predecessor Jose Mourinho’s footsteps and tell his players to pull out all the stops and play dirty in order to win trophies. United were beaten in the Carabao Cup semi-final by Manchester City on Wednesday,
United have now lost all four semi-finals they’ve played in under Solskjaer.
The Red Devils were outplayed by Pep Guardiola’s side at Old Trafford, and only managed two shots on target.
Solskjaer is leading his side to an unlikely Premier League title challenge, with United level on points with Liverpool while having a game in hand.
But they’re still yet to win a single trophy under Solskjaer, and they last lifted a trophy nearly four years ago.
On that occasion, Mourinho led United to the Europa League in 2017, and his successor has failed to live up to the same standard.
Mourinho is famed for his ability to win silverware wherever he is managing, and could well continue that trend with Tottenham this year.
Spurs are competing for the Premier League title and will face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup after beating Brentford on Tuesday night.
Mourinho famously told his players they have to “be b******s” in order to win trophies, and Berbatov believes United have to follow suit if they want to win titles.
Speaking to Betfair, he said: “Manchester United’s Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City was disappointing. United missed out on a great opportunity to go to a final at Wembley. I was hoping to see a final between Spurs and United but it wasn’t to be and I’m sorry about that.
“City did what they needed to do, they took their chances and won the game. United performed well but it wasn’t enough. They weren’t at the level they have been performing at in the past few matches.
“Sometimes you can only play as much as your opponent lets you play. City know how to play in these kind of games.
“It’s now four semi-finals in a row that United have failed to win and this is a bad habit that they need to break. Four times in a row is too many to be just a coincidence.
“Sometimes the pressure and the high expectations can get to players when they need to take that step to reach a final. United need to evaluate what is going on in these important matches and try to correct it.
“Winning a trophy is a big step in the right direction and unfortunately they have missed out on another.
“Sometimes when you have these derbies in important matches, it’s not about momentum or form, it’s about how much you want it, how smart and cunning the players are, if necessary use some dirty tricks, do whatever it takes to win.
“Sometimes you need to be like this and, like Jose Mourinho said: ‘You need to be b*****ds to win trophies.’ I don’t see enough of that from United in these important matches.”
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