Juan Mata has opened up about Manchester United’s poor season, claiming the players were not up to the “standard” they expected.
While their opponents Manchester City and Liverpool are battling for the title on the final day of the Premier League season, United is far from a title race.
In fact, all Ralph Rangnick’s team had to fight for was a sixth, apart from the pride they had yet to lose in a series of embarrassing losses leading to a 4-0 loss to Brighton.
Unexpectedly, the Sancho club, Rafael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo signed last summer anticipating a challenge to the top of the table, with the form of the squad even forcing them to cancel an end-of-season award.
Now that Mata’s contract expires at the end of the season, he spills the beans on his fellow players, saying they are not good enough.
“Obviously, on the field We made a lot of mistakes, “the Spanish playmaker told The Athlete.
“We can also deal better with some situations that happen at the club, managers change, negative things. I think in the end we might let that have too much of an impact on Carrington’s energy.
“Some standards have not been met. Be it attitude, level of training, off the field, not involving players, I think we all agreed that if we were being honest and talking to some people in the club, we weren’t good enough.
“So that’s where I think we can learn. There are also some things out of our control that we shouldn’t let those things affect us.
“When you find that something is not good enough, you naturally have that feeling. But we should not let it happen.
“Many situations can affect some behaviors. Unless you have a solid foundation, it’s hard to keep pace when bad things come along.”
While fans may argue that few players other than David de Gea and Ronaldo are immune to criticism, Mata has little to say.
The 34-year-old has only played six league games through the season and has not yet started a game before the win against Brentford earlier this month.
This was the team’s last game of the season at Old Trafford and it looked like Jesse Lingard didn’t get it that day.
However, Mata then started as well in the team’s latest game against Brighton and could face Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The former Chelsea player thinks the whole club needs to re-calibrate the culture and they want something from Eric Ten Hager. “We need to re-calibrate the club culture. That’s how I feel,” Mata added.
“Standards, which represent what this club means to any player, what qualifications you have to play for Manchester United, what are the expectations on and off the pitch.
“There are many things to be clear – this is Manchester United and anyone who doesn’t meet those standards is not up to the task and should not be here. That’s all I can do.”