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Ashley Young apologises for Spurs defeat when all said and done, he should be proving that shirt belongs on his back

Ashley Young has stated that Manchester United will be looking to bounce back from the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Wednesday evening. United had a great start to 2018 by winning five of the six matches played, conceding two goals in the first month of the year, both conceded in the same game. Christian Eriksen’s 11-second effort and Phil Jones’ own goal, which put the player in the bad books of the clubs supporters once again. Young, who played at left-back in the match and despite him rediscovering his form at stages this season, was out of his depth himself.

It was only the fourth defeat of the Premier League season for United and they still retain the second position in the league, three points ahead of both Liverpool and Chelsea but now 15 points behind Manchester City, who are only going to continue their domination in the league, especially with no challengers – only Liverpool have beaten them this season with every other team seemingly rolling over – United included. When a player says the club will hit back from their defeat, it should make the blood flow in your veins – but for me, the same players say the same thing after defeat.

Under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and now Jose Mourinho, United have had many defeats and there is always a player who comes out and states that United need to fight back in their next match. That is what they need to be doing but I find it rather ironic that the players stating this are usually the ones who lacked fight in the defeat. For me, Young is not a left-back, just a player who can fill a number of positions when rotation is needed. The left-back should be occupied by Luke Shaw in every game – he should be fit enough to play regularly, instead of playing one, then rested the next.

Young is one of the more experienced players who was brought in from Aston Villa by Sir Alex Ferguson and has lasted at the club during the disappointing seasons under Moyes and Van Gaal. Mourinho has done his own thing at United, had changed the mentality of the entire squad but on a night at Wembley, United just did not seem to be the same team which had been playing for the past month, the frustration fully shown on the face of the manager. Speaking to MUTV and reported by the official Manchester United website, Young stated:

“Obviously, we’re disappointed to concede a goal so early on and to be 2-0 down at half-time is tough when you play a tough team like Tottenham.

“This was going to be a tough game. If we got the next goal, it would have been a different story. It wasn’t meant to be – there is a lot of disappointment in that dressing room but we have got another tough game this weekend.

“We’ve got to dust ourselves down, pick ourselves up and go again.”

There is still a lot of work to be done at the Theatre of Dreams. If you cast a critical eye over the squad, there are some players who just do not offer what they should be offering. Over on the other side of Manchester, those players who fit the similar profile were sold on and replaced but United seem to be stuck with many players who do let the squad down. Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, and Young are three of those, all present since the days of Ferguson. Time is running out for players like this and hopefully, in the summer, some or all will be shown the door.

When you see a poor performance from a particular player or players, then one of them says what Young has done, it annoys me. It seems, to me at least, that the player, who clearly did not give their all in the defeat to Spurs, then come out and stated the obvious, something they should have done, collectively, in the game they are talking about. Last night at Wembley, there were 11 gutless players not up for the challenge or overcoming that early goal. United should be better than that. It is not all down to the manager, but the players too. All of them are responsible.

United will entertain Huddersfield Town at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday afternoon, a day which will commence the remembrance of those who perished in the Munich Air Disaster, a disaster which was looked on by many players through the years at the club. It was used to inspire youth and show them what the traditions of the club were, also give them some fighting spirit. In this day and age, all that seems to have gone out of the window. Eight United players died in that tragedy, more never played again. That should get the blood flowing and give some fight.

It seems to be much different with players not putting in the performances required, stealing a living at a top club, when in actual fact they deserve to be playing lower down the pecking order in English football, or beyond. These players feel that becoming apologists on social media or vial official club channels will appease the fans for the half-hearted approach they adopt during matches of importance. That is not how it works. Ashley Young, instead of talking about your own disappointment, find that fire in your belly and prove you deserve that shirt on your back!

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