Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel says he has been “bored to death” by the team’s displays this season.
Barring a miraculous 19-goal victory over AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday, the 20-time English champions will miss out on a top-four finish for the second time in three seasons.
Manager Louis van Gaal has come in for consistent criticism this season for both his team’s results and a style of play perceived to be at odds with the attacking football championed by club greats Alex Ferguson and Matt Busby.
And Schmeichel – who won five Premier League titles and the Champions League in a glittering career at Old Trafford – says Van Gaal has taken them backwards with his cautious tactics.
“Manchester United – a club that I love and have followed since I was a kid – have bored me to death this season,” he told Sky Sports News.
“We are one of those clubs that has been dragged in completely the wrong direction. We never used to play football the way we play now. We never played for 1-0 and then defend. We always went for the second goal and the third.
“All the hard work that Sir Alex put in to recover what was there from Sir Matt Busby has been undone in a very short period of time. I, as a fan, want to be winning but to entertain equally as much too. I want exciting players.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been linked with a possible move to United, although agent Mino Raiola says the Sweden star – who will leave Paris Saint-Germain after Saturday’s Coupe de France final – has not yet received a contract offer from the club.
Schmeichel has previously urged United to sign the former Barcelona and AC Milan forward and he believes he could be the right man to reinvigorate the dressing-room.
“I read about Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the newspapers. I would love for him to come to Manchester United, I’ve said this for a long time. He was born to play for Manchester United,” he said.
“He’s like an Eric Cantona, who can inspire all the guys in the dressing room but also the supporters. That’s what it’s all about. It’s not about having a Sunday nap at Old Trafford.”