Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho pointed an accusing finger at his misfiring midfielders after his side's latest limp display ended in a 2-2 draw at Southampton.
United struggled to get out of first gear for most of a game that saw them fall 2-0 behind in the opening 20 minutes, with goals from Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera papering over the cracks in a poor display.
Paul Pogba was more guilty that most of giving the ball away consistently and Mourinho didn't hold back as he identified why his team came up short against relegation threatened opponents.
"I think we lost so many balls in midfield, so many balls in the tradition to the last third, that we couldn't have the attacking continuity," fumed Mourinho.
"In the second half we went back to the pattern of losing too many balls in the midfield and the players don't understand that simplicity is genius. They keep going to complicated football.
"Marcus Rashford and Phil Jones and many other did credit to the shirt they wear, but this was not the outcome we wanted.
"I think the result is quite fair in spite of the fact we were more dominant in the game. They had a better start than us. We were in trouble, organising a defensive line with only one centre-back we tried to protect that weakness with playing three instead of two central defenders."
Mourinho went on to suggest his midfield lacks warriors who will put the opposition under pressure, with his comments delivered after Pogba turned in one of his worst displays of the season.
"We don't have many mad dogs in midfield who will press the ball," he added. "Choices when they have the ball. What we needed to improve in this game was make it simple in midfield. One touch, two touch. Keep it simple."
United goal scorer Herrera didn't try to hide his disappointment, as United failed to find a spark in a disappointing performance.
"It's two points dropped, but apart from that we can build from what we did after they scored the second goal," he stated.
"We did the most difficult thing in football, we came back and drew the game but we didn't win it.
"Half time came at the wrong moment for us, but that's not an excuse, we should have won the game. We want to be in the top four and at the moment we are far from it.
"We should forget right now about the table, we should try to win every game. That's how we will reach the top four. We should approach the Arsenal game like a final."
Jose Mourinho believes the Premier League landscape has changed to such an extent that Manchester United are no longer able to entice their rivals with big-money offers for players.