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Manchester United Star Says Players Didn't Meet The Club's 'Standards'

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Manchester United Star Says Players Didn't Meet The Club's 'Standards'

Juan Mata has opened up on Manchester United's poor season, claiming that the players have not lived up to the 'standards' expected of them.

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Whilst their bitter rivals Manchester City and Liverpool battle it out for the title on the final day of the Premier League season, United are nowhere near the title race.

In fact, the only thing that Ralf Rangnick's side have to play for, other than any pride they not have already lost in multiple embarrassing defeats, culminating in the 4-0 loss to Brighton, is sixth place.

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It is not what was expected last summer, when the club signed Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo, and they were expected to challenge at the top of the table, and the state of the team even forced them into cancelling their end of season awards.

Now Mata, whose contract expires at the end of the current campaign, has spilled the beans on his fellow players, saying they've not been good enough.

"It's clear that on the pitch, we have made many mistakes," the Spanish playmaker told the Athletic.

Mata has started the previous two games. Image: PA Images
Mata has started the previous two games. Image: PA Images
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"We could have also dealt better with certain situations that were happening in the club, managers changing, negative things. I think at the end of the day we let that maybe affect too much the energy of Carrington.

"Certain standards were not met. Whether that's attitude, level of training, off the pitch, which doesn't include players, I think we all agree, if we are completely honest and speak with certain people at the club, we haven't been good enough.

"And so that's where I think we could learn. Also there were certain things that were out of our control, which we shouldn't let affect us. 

"Naturally you feel that way when you can see certain things are not good enough. But we shouldn't have let things happen. 

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"Many circumstances can affect certain behaviours. If you don't have a solid base, when bad things come, it is difficult to stay all together."

United players look dejected as Arsenal celebrate in a recent win over Ragnick's side. Image: PA Images
United players look dejected as Arsenal celebrate in a recent win over Ragnick's side. Image: PA Images

Whilst fans would probably argue that very few of the players can be saved from criticism, apart from perhaps David de Gea and Ronaldo, Mata hasn't been able to have much of a say.

The 34-year-old has appeared in only six league games all season and hadn't started a match before the win over Brentford earlier this month.

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It was the team's last game at Old Trafford for the campaign and looked to be a send off, something that Jesse Lingard wasn't given that day.

However, Mata then also started against Brighton, in the team's most recent game, and could yet play against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Ten Hag is expected to be at the Palace game to watch his new team. Image: PA Images
Ten Hag is expected to be at the Palace game to watch his new team. Image: PA Images

The former Chelsea man thinks the whole club needs a cultural reset, something they'll be hoping Erik ten Hag can bring, "We need a reset in the culture of the club. That's how I feel," Mata added.

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"The standards, what it means to represent this club to any player, what entitles you to play for Manchester United, what is expected on the pitch and off the pitch.

"Many things that need to be clear - this is Manchester United and anyone who doesn't meet those standards is not up to the task and should not be here. That's as clear as I can be."

It's difficult to disagree with him...

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Premier League, Manchester United, Juan Mata

Ryan Sidle
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