Manchester United players 'don't want the ball', claims Ray Wilkins

Some of the players lack fight, claims the former United player

Ray Wilkins has added his voice to those who believe the present Manchester United squad lack the fight to drag the club out of their present problems.

United head into Tuesday's Champions League encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk at Old Trafford still requiring a point to ensure top spot in Group A to gain a favourable knock-out round draw.

Yet victory is needed to raise flagging morale after back-to-back home defeats in the Premier League for the first time since 2002 enveloped an air of gloom around the Red Devils.

A lack of fight has been identified by those around the United dressing room, an issue that is exacerbated by Sir Alex Ferguson no longer being present to galvanise the players.

It still comes as a shock, especially following all the success the club have had down the years.

But, for Wilkins, the evidence in Saturday's 1-0 home defeat by Newcastle was overwhelming.

"For the first time on Saturday, I saw Manchester United players not actually wanting the ball, which is unheard of at Old Trafford," Wilkins told talkSPORT

"You have to be a certain type of player to play for Manchester United - someone that wants the ball all the time and fights his guts out.

"I didn't quite see that on Saturday."

It leaves Moyes in an awkward spot, with some supporters beginning to question whether Ferguson's choice as successor was indeed the right man for the job.

Yet Wilkins believes the downturn in fortunes may work to the Scot's advantage, even though he believes the recovery process will be extensive.

"It is a great club, it always will be a great club, but David needs time and assistance," said Wilkins.

"Disgruntled fans aren't really going to help.

"It might be the little kick up the backside they need to say, 'here you are David, there is the finance, now go and get some younger players in'.

"Unfortunately, David needs five or six players.

"It's going to take two or three windows to put right what has gone slightly wrong at Manchester United."

Related articles...

United will not be forced into panic buys, says Moyes

Sam Wallace: Moyes paying price for transfer abstinence

Moyes needs immediate lift to take the crisis out of change

United players 'don't want the ball', claims Wilkins

Ferguson still trying to exert 'control and power' at United, claims Keane

United face personnel problem in Champions League

Champions haven't got a clue

Moyes claims fans understand 'the bigger picture'

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas