Paul Parker: Jose Mourinho needs to beat Tottenham and win the FA Cup or this will have been a nightmare season for Manchester United

But it should not paper over some significant cracks.

Overall the season has to go down as a disappointment and that’s even if they do end up winning the FA Cup, which we know won’t be easy.

I say disappointment because United are all about winning with a certain style and for whatever reason they’re still not doing it this campaign.

And we’ve just started to hear the odd murmur of discontent from the terraces.

The trouble for United supporters is that their great rivals City and Liverpool are dismantling teams at will, whereas when United face them, they look solid at best.

Even during my time at the club, we were made aware that United had to win with a certain swagger and I have total sympathy with match-going Reds.

They’re paying £50, £60, £70 for a ticket – they want value and entertainment for their pounds, and they haven’t had it.

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I don’t think the current style of football will be tolerated next season.

And don’t forget, Tottenham will be better back at White Hart Lane, Liverpool will improve, we know City will and now with Arsene Wenger announcing he’s leaving Arsenal, you’d expect them to be better too.

I’m hoping Mourinho will be forced to play a more adventurous style and control games better.

I think most people understand when they play more defensive against the big teams.

But when they play the likes of West Brom and Burnley, it's imperative that they have more of a go and give the fans something to get excited about.

A good time to start getting the fans back onside would be against Tottenham at the weekend in the FA Cup semi-final, but the league game earlier in the season between the two worries me slightly.

United were hammered that day and Christian Eriksen controlled things.

Mauricio Pochettino was very clever and recognised a weakness in between Ashley Young and Phil Jones which Eriksen exploited, but you’d think Mourinho spotted that and the same won’t happen again.

If the unthinkable happens and United lose, it’s going to be deemed as a nightmare season. No trophy, no great football identity and simply not good enough.

This summer Mourinho clearly needs to strengthen but he needs to release the shackles as well. Allow those creative players he has to play how they can.

United have a great squad but what’s the use in having a Ferrari if you are only allowed to drive it 30mph?

I've heard people say Tottenham need to win a trophy but United need a win on Saturday as well.

A trophy would help to draw a line under this season and act as a catalyst to play with more freedom and hopefully get a lot nearer to City from August.

The pressure will be on Mourinho, and he knows it.

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