United were top-of-the-table in January but have dropped 13 points in their last eight league games, allowing Manchester City to go 14 points clear ahead of Sunday’s derby at the Etihad.
They have drawn their last three matches 0-0 in all competitions and ex-Arsenal defender Merson insists it would be a ‘major collapse’ if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side now failed to qualify for next season’s Champions League – they are currently five points ahead of fifth-placed Everton.
Paul Merson says it would represent a ‘major collapse’ if Man Utd did not finish in the top four
United have drawn their last three matches 0-0 in all competitions and are lacking creativity
‘Manchester United are on the verge of a meltdown – because that’s what it would be if they don’t finish in the top four,’ Merson said in his column for the Daily Star.
‘They were top of the league not so long ago and if you’re in with a chance of winning the title and then you don’t finish in the top four, that’s a major collapse.
‘United have stopped scoring goals and teams below them have winnable games. They have opened the door. And they could be caught.’
Merson also thinks the Red Devils are over-reliant on Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who is the club’s top-scorer with 22 goals this season.
The former England international in particular called for United’s attacking talents to step up to the plate as the season reaches its climax.
United’s attacking struggles have coincided with a drop in Bruno Fernandes’ form recently
‘Look at the players they have. Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Daniel James,’ Merson added.
‘There’s a lot of ammunition there. Players who can hurt you. But too often it’s all about Bruno Fernandes. They’re always waiting for him to do something special. But teams are targeting him now and he’s getting tired. It’s taking a toll on him.
‘He’s been carrying a massive football club on his shoulders for too long this season. Someone else has to step up.’