Paul Ince believes former club Manchester United are a “total mess” and becoming a “laughing stock”.
Tensions have bubbled just under the surface for much of the summer at Old Trafford, with such issues coming to the fore in the wake of Sunday’s 3-2 humiliation at Brighton.
United have backed Jose Mourinho amid renewed speculation over his future, but the manager has made his frustration clear about executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward’s failure to significantly strengthen his squad.
Questions over Paul Pogba’s happiness also remain, especially after agent Mino Raiola’s cryptic comments on Tuesday, and former United midfielder Ince has called for all at the club to get their act in order.
“Other clubs and fans are having a field day at the minute, seeing what is happening at Man United,” Ince said.
“They’re becoming a laughing stock and falling behind.
“They finished second last season, and will probably make the top four this year, but is that what they should be striving for? No.
“Realistically, their goal should be to win the Premier League. But they just cannot compete with Manchester City or Liverpool at the minute.”
United face a tough test against Tottenham on Monday night, and Ince fears they could find themselves falling even further behind, but he does not believe Mourinho should go.
“Should Mourinho leave? No. Should Man United as a club get their house in order? Absolutely,” he said.
“That’s the whole lot, from the top down, Ed Woodward, Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba, everything is a total mess.
“You would never have seen this going on with Sir Alex Ferguson as manager, especially not playing out in public.
“I could see why it would be playing on the minds of supporters that this season might end up like the Chelsea 2015-16 one.”
Mourinho was sacked midway through that campaign and Ince believes the United manager’s style of football “doesn’t suit the club and never will”.
Former England international Ince also called on Pogba to clarify his situation and agent Raiola to “grow up” after taking aim at United great Scholes on social media for questioning his client’s leadership at Brighton.
“Hearing that Mino Raiola has criticised Paul Scholes is an interesting one – who is he to criticise him? He was an unbelievable player, and a leader despite the fact he didn’t speak much,” Ince said.
“I appreciate that times and mentalities have changed since I was a player, but the fact is the agent’s job is to get a player a club and make sure he’s happy – not to get involved with what pundits say.
“I doubt it will bother Scholesy much. He’s a pundit paid to give his opinion, but Raiola needs to grow up and stay out of it.”