Paul Ince criticises ‘naive’ Man United ahead of Celta Vigo clash
The Manchester United legend questions Jose Mourinho's decision to prioritise the Europa League
Paul Ince has criticised Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho for prioritising the Europa League ahead of a top-four finish.
The Red Devils fielded a weakened side at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday as Arsenal eased to a 2-0 victory over their bitter rivals in the Premier League.
Manchester United are in fifth place in the Premier League table but five points adrift of third-placed Liverpool in the hunt for a Champions League spot.
Mourinho’s men were 1-0 winners against La Liga side Celta Vigo in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final last week.
Manchester United will host their semi-final opponents in the return leg at Old Trafford on Thursday night with a place in the final up for grabs.
Speaking to Paddy Power’s blog about Mourinho’s decision to prioritise the Europa League ahead of the Premier League, Ince said:
“If United had beat Arsenal, they’d be on 68 points with a game in hand and in a really advantageous position to make the top four.
“Champions League would’ve been in touching distance. I can see they’re clearly going for the Europa League as the main target, but I think that’s naïve.
“If they’d put out a slightly stronger team last week, they’d be touching top four. Just imagine if they hadn’t let so many silly points drop earlier in the season.
“It’s a massive risk, but if Mourinho takes United to the final and they win, people will say he did the right thing.”
Manchester United finished in fifth place in the Premier League table with three games to go in their season.