Nightmarish times have arrived at the Theatre of Dreams as absolutely nothing is going on in favour of Manchester United at the moment. A new calendar year has set foot and the second half of the Premier League 2017-18 season is absolutely going to be make (at least something) or break (even further).

The Red Devils take on Everton at the Goodison Park on Monday January 1. 

It couldn't have been a worse start to the new year with Romelu Lukaku suffering a fresh injury and Zlatan Ibrahimovic set for at least a month-long further recovery period for the horrific knee injury he suffered last year.

Marcus Rashford remains the only legit centre-forward for Jose Mourinho's side at the moment.

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes, who has closely followed the United team go from the invincibles side under Sir Alex Ferguson to just another ordinary team under the likes of David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and now Mourinho, has vehemently criticised the team spirit yet again.

Paul Scholes
Paul ScholesReuters

"The players are definitely under-performing and maybe the manager is too," said Scholes, who is a BT Sport pundit. "The underperforming is carrying on, carrying on, carrying on and the manager has to take responsibility for that.

"United look a tired team, they look like they have played 50 or 60 games this season already and we are halfway through. I know the crowd were quiet but you have to give them something. They gave them absolutely nothing, it was dead out there today [refering to the match against Southampton, on Dec 30, which turned out a goalless draw].

"I swear to God, they need to liven up, this team, because top four isn't even guaranteed from this moment. You have got some good teams in there — Tottenham, Liverpool, Arsenal — and they will all be challenging. They have to concentrate and liven up and really find some energy from somewhere — and the manager needs to listen.

"Mourinho has been doing this job for a long time but there is a real lack of leadership on that pitch. They are too nice to each other — they need to have a go at each other. Young players are not being helped by the experienced players."

At the moment, United are third in the Premier League 2017-18 table (after 21 games). They are incredibly 15 points behind Manchester City, who have all but secured the title this season.