There’s something seriously wrong at Manchester United and that is now absolutely apparent after that dire display. To call it a display is an offence to displays actually. The Europa League may not be top priority, but here is what we learned this evening against Fenerbahce.
Desire, passion, fight, ability
None of these four things run through the vast majority of the squad. Three managers can’t be wrong, and the last two managers have had pedigree. Soon (as I said over and over again last season) the players have to start taking a portion of the blame. And not just Wayne Rooney. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was scared out of the second half and then schmoozed around the pitch looking entitled to win. The bloke can’t even take a free kick anymore. Defensively United were all over the place. Daley Blind has been replaced with a talentless nobody and Marcos Rojo reverted to type. Luke Shaw offered nothing in either defence or attack for the entire 90 minutes and Matteo Darmian found plenty of space in the final third with absolutely no end product. Ander Herrera, David De Gea, Juan Mata all are absolved of blame. Henrik Mkhitaryan also, when he came on he made a real difference to how the side played. It can’t continue, there are issues beyond another change of manager (everyone’s go-to excuse in times of despair). That tonight was atrocious.
More Mkhitaryan please
He looked genuinely busy and useful tonight. Whether that was because the standard of opponent was below par, because he’s more suited to the European game or that he knows he has a point to make is there for debate but when he was introduced things started to get a little brighter for United. He has to start being given a chance, and sooner rather than later.
No width and all possession make for poor watching
Possession football with no cutting edge, it’s a familiar tone isn’t it? When everyone was screaming for Louis van Gaal and his turgid style of football to be kicked away from Old Trafford I’m sure no one expected the much coveted replacement Jose Mourinho to follow suit. Well guess what everyone, HE HAS! And he’s also taken any width from proceedings by insisting upon playing Marcus Rashford as a wide man. The current dip in form isn’t entirely down to the manager, but he sure as I’m wearing jeans isn’t helping anything at the moment with some crazy decisions.
How to conclude? First and foremost the issues that are there are needing to be addressed by everyone behind the scenes before we fans can even dream of getting a grasp on what is happening at the football club. No, the Europa League isn’t a priority, and in real terms we all shouldn’t be that bothered that United may crash out of the competition early. But it’s the level of performance that the qualms lay, and the #JoseOut brigade may come out in force but we all must remember these are very narrow-minded individuals. Before the weekend something needs sorting, or there will be tears once again against Swansea come Sunday.