Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: John Sibley/Reuters

We grew accustomed to Manchester United not just winning trophies but dominating the Premier League. There was an aura about them.

In the second half against Southampton on Wednesday, they were clinging on. They mustered just one shot on target all night — and that was from Eric Bailly, a centre back.

That is not in the spirit of the great Manchester United teams I played against. Those sides would take the game to you. With Gary Neville and David Beckham marauding down the right, you knew it would be an onslaught.

Their best XI reeled off the tongue and in the back of your mind you knew there was an armoury of strikers on the bench ready to hurt you too.

United do not play in an attacking manner any more. They do not frighten anyone.

When we had the likes of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit at Arsenal, our opponents would look up at them in the tunnel with fear in their eyes.

You would see those players opposite and think: ‘That’s three points here.’

At United, the likes of Roy Keane, Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs will have had the same effect on many teams.

It is not a case of United lacking the personnel. United have the players to strike fear into their opponents but they are not being used properly.

It cannot be right that Henrikh Mkhitaryan — the player with the most assists in Germany last season — was having to chase all the way back to defend when United lost against Arsenal at the Emirates recently.

If Mkhitaryan  was at Chelsea he would be playing in Eden Hazard or Pedro’s position, not as a wing back.

United paint a picture of a timid team who won’t attack you.

Just look at the number of matches they have drawn. Teams are no longer going to Old Trafford with trepidation. The aura United built up over many years has been wiped away.

I understand that Mourinho is firefighting with several injuries and a hectic fixture schedule. But you cannot feel sorry for a team who are a victim of their own success.

Mourinho does not know his best XI. He has been critical of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial but next season he needs to establish his best team and then back them.

Until he does, Mourinho will have to take all the flak that comes his way.