We caught up with the former Manchester United star, Paul Parker, and talked about how Manchester United has been performing this fall. During our talk with him, he gave his thoughts on which players he has been most surprised and disappointed by.
He also gave his opinions on Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Chelsea and who the right-back should be for England at the World Cup.
When we asked Parker about who the biggest disappointment have been so far this season he immediately mentioned two players that he has been disappointed with and his explanation for that is that he had way higher expectations for them than what they have ended up with delivering this season.
“Harry Maguire has disappointed me very much with his performances. It seems like he doesn’t want to learn and he doesn’t want to listen to the manager.”
“He hasn’t really understood that his performances have been poor and that he needs to go back to basics. It seems like he thinks he is better than he is and he is not listening to all the critics that have slammed his performances.”
“Ronaldo still thinks he is 27 years old and hasn’t really understood that he can’t do the same things as he used to do. He hasn’t realised his age. Zlatan Ibrahimovic realised his age and realised that he had to change his game by becoming older.”
Parker didn´t mention Jadon Sancho as one of the biggest disappointments but the reason for that is that Parker didn’t really have any expectations for the winger. But he is still slamming Sancho for his performances.
“To be honest I´ve never really understood why Man United paid so much money for Jadon Sancho. He has a lot of issues because he is never attacking fullbacks, he is passing backwards and is not really challenging his direct opponent.”
“The way you play in Germany is completely different to the Premier League and it seems like he´ll never be able to adapt well enough to be a key-player for Man United.”
“If you look at the money Man United paid for him, I would say that he could end up being the worst buy ever in Manchester United’s history.”
On the other hand we asked Parker who he thinks has surprised him the most on the positive side and it is actually a player that he previously has been criticising a lot, but he has been proved wrong, he says.
“Diogo Dalot is the one who has surprised me the most. I wasn’t expecting that from him, but Erik ten Hag came in and that has made a big difference in the way he plays.”
“He listens to what the manager is telling him so he has proved me totally wrong. I was advocating for Mn United to go get a new right back but he has been absolutely marvellous. Man United haven’t got that good of a right back for ages.”
“No one is talking about Wan-Bisakka and that is all because of how well Dalot has performed.”
Bruno Fernandes was missing against Aston Villa and it was obvious to Parker that Man United could have used his qualities on the pitch even though he still slams him for his attitude which sometimes is still questionable.
“Sometimes Bruno Fernandes is playing on his own. And at the moment he is showing his frustration to his teammates and to the fans which are totally wrong. Sometimes he is persecuting his own teammates in front of the fans which could be a way to protect himself.”
“But he is very important to Man United´s play in the midfield because he is actually showing a lot of energy. In that way he is leading by example with the way he is running all the time and he makes his teammates feel embarrassed if they are not running.”
“He wasn’t able to play against Aston Villa and I really think that Fred would have been the right replacement for him, but he went with Donny van de Beek and he is definitely not energy based so it didn’t really work out. Donny van de Beek is nowhere near what he was at Ajax.”
Gary Neville recently said that Man United has the worst front three of all top six teams and Parker agrees with that and says that even the teams in the relegation spots wouldn’t want them because they would not improve their team.
“I never agree on what Gary Neville says but this time he actually has a point about Man United´s front three being the worst of the big six teams.”
“The front three at Man United is poor. The only one who is actually performing is Antony. But the rest of the attacking players at Man United are absolutely terrible and I don´t believe that they will ever improve.”
“To be honest, if you handed over the front three players, except for Antony, to the teams that are struggling for relegation, they would give them back to Man United right away. They would prefer to stick with what they already got because the players from Man United wouldn´t improve their side.”
Parker also talked a bit about Chelsea in our interview and he is praising Kai Havertz for being a hard working midfielder but according to Parker he is not the creative spark they have been lacking since Eden Hazard left the club. Parker encourages Chelsea to sign a creative player with quality but says that Chelsea only wants to sign big name players as Chelsea are only worrying about PR and marketing.
“Kai Havertz is a really hard worker and he reminds me of Chris Waddle with his body type. He is a really good player who helps the team a lot but he is not this creative type of midfielder, which they are lacking a lot.”
“I believe that Graham Potter would be able to improve the current squad, but that is not how it works in Chelsea. Chelsea are about PR so they are more focused on bringing big name players into the club than actually getting a player that could improve them, like Leandro Trossard.”
”But Leandro Trossard doesn´t sell the product and Chelsea is all about marketing. Marketing is really what that club is about.”
At the end of our interview we talked about who Parker thinks should be the starting right back for England at the World Cup and he makes it very clear that even though Ben White has impressed him a lot, Kieran Trippier should be the starting right back for the national team.
“Ben White has been really good for Arsenal and he should definitely be called up for the national team. Without a shadow of a doubt.”
“But he has been a centre half his entire career and he still looks like a centre half when he is playing at the right back. His highest priority is to defend, he looks like an old school fullback.”
“So, he is a possibility at right back for England, but for me Kieran Trippier is the best fullback in this country. He is the one that should play every single game.”
“Kieran Trippier is a very reliable player and he can play both as a left back and as a right back and no matter what he will do his job.”
“Everyone will talk about Trent Alexander-Arnold playing at right back, but he shouldn’t play in my opinion. He will be exposed for his lack of defensive quality and even as a wingback he would be caught out of position way too often, so I wouldn’t trust him at the World Cup.”