In a TV interview before yesterday's match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford, Zlatan Ibrahimovic had been asked if he was the best striker in the Premier League.
United are fifth in the table and trailed leaders Chelsea (who met Manchester City last night) by 16 points going into Tuesday night's game against Everton but Ibrahimovic insisted the league table did not lie.
This follows what has been an outspoken week for the Portuguese, who singled out Luke Shaw for his "commitment issues" before expressing his dissatisfaction with Henrikh Mkhitaryan's "disappointing" performance against West Brom.
"You cannot give up on anything and results can go amusing ways sometimes", Carrick told MUTV. "I give them lots of freedom to interchange position but in the end you go pragmatism". It is not an easy life for them.
"I would sign immediately for that next year because in the modern Premier League it is really, really hard to do - but we need to score goals to win matches".
"He needs maturity and maturity comes with responsibility".
"But the spirt was good and the pride was there and the Manchester United way of fight was there".
The result though takes Mourinho's men's unbeaten Premier League run to 20 games but the Portugese is under no illusions as to the challenge that lays ahead. Man United need to get their act together if they want to have any chance of finishing in the top four this term. "We have five, six, seven chances, we don't score and then we are in trouble".
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Video replays were used twice in that game to make crucial offside decisions, both in Spain's favour as they won 2-0. Our future will be decided by our mental qualities".
"This season he scored the last one in September".
"But I must not kill him". I must help him, I must try to accelerate the process again because this is Manchester United.
"If you compare the second half to the first half, the second half was much better", he told a post-match news conference.
In the most candid admission yet about his future, Ibrahimovic has thrown down the gauntlet to United by insisting he is unwilling to tread water for the final few seasons of his glittering playing career. "It was really painful how we don't win the game".
Seventh-place Everton would have gone above United on goal difference in the standings if the team had held on for the win. "Probably I have one, two, three years". While Everton actually came to The Theatre of Dreams and attempted to play football, they were still rigid in attack and non-threatening after they took the lead.
"I feel myself more comfortable here than (with) the way Liverpool tried to press", Koeman said, referring to the weekend Merseyside derby defeat. But I repeat, not at all am I criticising the linesman, not at all.
To make things worse, one of their star players has suggested that he will leave the club if they don't start to match his winning ambitions.