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Paul Parker, speaking exclusively to 888Sport

“Without a doubt the modern game suits Pep Guardiola more than Jose Mourinho. The style of it. The lack of physicality. Mind games no longer seem to work and trying to stop the play with niggly fouls…the referees can see through all of that now and will penalise. The Premier League now gives teams who want to play football every opportunity to do so and that’s because it’s a business now and customers want value for money. If people don’t get entertained they will go elsewhere.” When you look at Pep and Jose you have to say there is a massive gap. Pep is evolving and he realises that the game offers him more scope now with what he wants to do because of how the game is going. Whereas Mourinho as a coach he’s not really evolved and he’s still doing what he did at Porto and Inter Milan. You have to move on. Sir Alex moved on and got different coaches who had different coaches and because of that United still won titles and still dominated. You want players to move on and to improve but really it comes down to getting the right teacher, a person who doesn’t only believe in himself but in the abilities of the player and what they can do.”

“Manchester United could go and sign the best player in the world but is that player going to be allowed to play and show why he’s the best player in the world? No matter how much is spent will those players be allowed to show what their best strengths are? That’s the big problem. We see this all the time and these players come and it doesn’t work out because they’re no longer the players they were at their former clubs. That comes down to Mourinho’s style of football.”

“United will make some big signings which is great in one way but you wonder are they becoming a team? You have to wonder too whether someone like Gareth Bale would fit in? Where would he play? He’s not a wide player anymore and likes to do his work through the middle. There are a lot of players who are already placed in the middle and the problem is a need for someone who is happy to provide width and stay out wide. Martial wants to come in. Rashford wants to come in and is very good at it. Bale would just be another player who wants to be a centre-forward. From a marketing side it makes sense but you have to ask if Gareth Bale would be comfortable there and given freedom. He’s not a player to track back and his first thought is always offensive and to run at people with pace and will he be given a chance to do that?”

“It’s become imperative for Manchester United to win something and finish in second. That gap really is embarrassing and it’s just not Manchester United to settle for only finishing second. It will certainly mean a lot more to Liverpool to finish above United. For them that would be good. For United to finish in that way is not a good picture.”