Who Is to Blame for Manchester United's Slump?

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Who Is to Blame for Manchester United's Slump?
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

And then, it got worse.

Manchester United were not having a dream season by any standard. The club which won the Premier League title by 11 points last season is now languishing behind the leaders by the same number of points in seventh place with more than half the season over.

With their title hopes definitely gone, the defending champions now see themselves desperately fighting for a Champions League spot. If they fail to achieve that, it could spell doom for the club both financially and in terms of retaining their best players, leave alone signing new ones.

United's only hope of silverware this season is in the domestic and European cup competitions. They have progressed to the semi-finals of the league cup and the Round of 16 in the Champions League. However, even the staunchest of optimists in their fans would not give United a snowflake's chance in hell of winning either of those competitions after the Reds were knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round by Swansea City on Sunday.

The defeat was United's seventh of the season and an alarming fifth at home. Long gone is the imposing aura engulfing the Theatre of Dreams for opposition teams, who now come to Old Trafford confident that they can win. If anything, United appear to be relishing trips away from home, where their record is much better.

So, as United head into the first leg of their League Cup semi-final against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday, the future appears bleak. Even if United sneak through to the final, potential opponents include neighbours and arch rivals Manchester City, who are in scintillating form.

It has reached such a point that United are failing to inspire any confidence in their supporters. Who is to blame for it? Here is a look at the accused:

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