Man United must get past mixed messages, unacceptable defeats

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United- Premier League

Manchester United were outdone by Brighton & Hove Albion for the second straight season on Sunday afternoon, falling to a demoralising 3-2 defeat at the AMEX Stadium.

The club's recruitment has left much room for improvement in this decade, with more failures than successes.

Manchester United fans have raised questions over Jose Mourinho's transfer activity of late, with a distinct lack of marquee signings being the main cause of concern, but surely a GoFundMe page to raise millions is a little too far.

With over 20 years experience in management, Carlo Ancelotti could potentially offer that old head needed at Old Trafford at the moment, but the one snag with the 59-year-old is that he is now in charge of Serie A side Napoli.

The Brighton fans on the main stand's concourse sang in unison when they saw Jose Mourinho on TV screens after Sunday's match.

Dissecting United's result on the road, former captain Neville said Ed Woodward and the club's hierarchy must back Mourinho financially if they are to make up for the mistakes of the past following Alex Ferguson's departure in 2013.

"The current atmosphere doesn't benefit anyone", one source said. But how did Jose Mourinho react when being pressured to criticise his players?

"Expect from me to be really happy to say after Leicester (a 2-1 win), A, B, C, D, awesome performances, this and that; don't expect me to go in the other direction". Mourinho has made it clear who he thinks is holding the team back, but it's his increasingly muddled and outdated tactics that need true re-evaluation.

It is wholly unfair only to blame the manager when he was failed by nearly all of his players. They are United in name only.

Mata admits the long trip back to Manchester from the south coast was a tough one and that United are hurting. It is also unclear at this stage how quickly United expect to make an appointment.

"The minute he gave him a contract extension - which some may say was unnecessary halfway through a season - believing in the manager and showing the faith, he had to then buy him the centre-backs".

Harry Maguire of Leicester City, Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng and Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld were the men who Mourinho wanted to reinforce his defence. Both decisions were a reflection of the disconnect that exists.

Whether a technical director would be given the power to drive recruitment remains to be seen but he could provide a daily point of contact for the manager as well as more "football expertise" at the top of the club, even if Woodward is unlikely to be willing to cede too much power.

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