Manchester United Legend Peter Schmeichel Slams Players, Says They Don't Care

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 13, 2013

LONDON - DECEMBER 14:  Peter Schmeichel of Manchester City looking dejected during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Charlton Athletic and Manchester City held on December 14, 2002 at The Valley in London, England.  The match ended in a 2-2 draw. (Photo By Ben Radford/Getty Images)
Ben Radford/Getty Images

As a five-time Premier League champion, three-time FA Cup winner and Champions League victor, ex-Manchester United stopper Peter Schmeichel is all too aware of the loyalty and effort needed to become an Old Trafford hero.

However, the Great Dane has questioned the talent and commitment of some of David Moyes' current squad members, saying there are those in the team who "don't care" about the club.

Schmeichel was a key cog in the most successful United team of all time, but doesn't see the same qualities that were so abundant in that squad reflected in today's crop.

As a result, the 50-year-old believes there is an exodus to be had at Old Trafford this January, with some players not holding up their end of the bargain.

Speaking to the Daily Mail's Adam Crafton, Schmeichel said:

I think more than anything, he should let players go. There are some players in there that are not doing the job and haven't been doing the job for a bit now.  To be a Manchester United player, it requires a certain level of performance, mentality and you have got to be proud to be a Manchester United player. I just see with five or six players that they don't care and we [United] have never ever had players that don't care. You should care. 

It's so obvious. Everyone is talking about it. Let's say the club have 560 million supporters. If you are named in the first eleven, you carry the responsibility for 560million people's wellbeing at that time. That's a lot of people. There are 75,000 people there at Old Trafford every time you play a game. 

This season has continued an era of transition for the club. Paul Scholes retired during the summer, Ryan Giggs is now a part-time coach, and there is no longer the figure of Sir Alex Ferguson to steer the ship.

Scholes and Ferguson: A thing of the past
Scholes and Ferguson: A thing of the pastChristopher Furlong/Getty Images

Ferguson's retirement has clearly had the biggest impact as United have fallen 13 points off the title pace this season, despite having an almost identical squad. The diminishing input of some of the elder statesmen, like Giggs and Rio Ferdinand, has also been a factor in Moyes' struggle as boss.

However, the squad is still bursting with international talent, many of whom are failing to uphold the standards set during the Ferguson era. The entire midfield in particular has been a great source of concern for United, who continue to rely on natural centre-back Phil Jones.

Giggs and Gary Neville at the opening of their restaurant venture Cafe Football
Giggs and Gary Neville at the opening of their restaurant venture Cafe FootballJan Kruger/Getty Images

Moyes needs to find new blood, not only to breathe fresh life into the team but also to stamp his own mark on the squad.

Schmeichel doesn't name names when it comes to his opinion on those who are under-performing, but the club's worst start to a season for 24 years hasn't been achieved by any one player.

BeIn Sport's Jeremy St. Louis is confident Moyes will come good eventually:

However, the Independent's Miguel Delaney insists an overhaul of the squad will be key:

In regards to the January transfer window, Schmeichel provides insight into what he thinks needs to happen at his old stomping ground, per Crafton's report:

He, David Moyes, needs to sign players. He needs to look around that dressing room and see players that he has signed, not players signed by the previous manager. But what is the point of signing players if they are not better than what you already have and are not going to improve the team?'

I would rather give David Moyes the opportunity to build a powerful team and accept that we are ninth for now, than panic to be in the top four by bringing in more players that over time will be shown to be there for the money.

This relates strongly to comments that Moyes made in the build-up to this week's Champions League encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk, where the United manager touched upon the fact his squad lacks the desired quality, per the Mirror's David McDonnell:

The question I got asked was, ‘Is the squad big enough?’ and I said, "Yes, the squad is big enough,". Your question [is the squad good enough] is slightly different. I believe the squad is big enough, yes.

On that, Moyes and Schmeichel both appear to agree, but the latter would argue that the roster is perhaps too big, with too many below-par players lacking the necessary quality that a club like United expects.

The likes of Anderson, Ashley Young, Nani and Javier Hernandez have all failed to produce their best form since Moyes' arrival, despite ample opportunity. If Schmeichel's wish for a clearout takes places, such players will find themselves in precarious situations.

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