Manchester United players should consider not listening to manager Jose Mourinho to find their identity, says former Arsenal defender Martin Keown.
United have won only one of their last five Premier League games and their style has been questioned.
Mourinho’s side face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday and are 16 points behind their north-west rivals.
“These performances are some of the worst we’ve seen from United in 25 years,” Keown told Football Focus.
“They are there for the taking – these United players almost need to stop listening to their manager now.
“If this is how they’re being told to play, the players are on their own – I don’t know the identity of this United team.”
The Red Devils have scored 28 goals in 16 Premier League games this season and conceded 26, just two shy of the 28 they conceded in the whole of last term.
Most of their performances this season have lacked fluency and Mourinho said the team is “far” from being built in his image and that they have “doubts about everything,”
“They’re almost dreading games,” said Keown. “Whether they change the manager is another thing but every game feels like a crisis now.
“Mourinho has an incredible job there but the ‘special one’ has become the ‘lonely one’.
“He’s almost enjoying the process of it coming to an end.”
However, Keown added that United have a “massive opportunity” to build momentum with a win over Liverpool before games against Cardiff, Huddersfield and Bournemouth.
“They have a good run of fixtures coming – start to build with a result against Liverpool and see what happens,” he said.