If Thursday was the encouragement that things may be turning a corner, today was a short, sharp bang back down to earth. Stamford Bridge is never a happy hunting ground for Manchester United, but this was the worst I can remember. Here is what we learned in the firm humbling at the hands of Chelsea.
Nothing has changed from last season
Months is all Jose Mourinho has had, granted, but his appointment was meant to be the last ‘dawn of a new era’ necessary in the recent speight of new eras. It isn’t. Not even close. Nothing about today was any different from what has been seen in the time since Sir Alex Ferguson called time on his charge of the side, it could well have been worse in truth. Everything was inept, from the tactics to the selection, it was a complete horror show from Mourinho. He got it right barring a toothless attack on Monday, spot on, on Thursday and so wide of the mark this afternoon it defies description.
Players out of position and underperforming will only result in more of this
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Marcus Rashford is not a winger, he can’t cross a ball and is both utterly ineffective and completely lost confidence when he is played there. It echoes of Danny Welbeck. He looks half the player out there that he does in his natural position and whilst there offers no threat to anything, it’s a total waste of an exceptional talent. Marouane Fellaini has been covered time and again. Michael Carrick reigned supreme in the middle against Fenerbahce and doesn’t have long left in the tank, why not use him? He’s a far better player than Fellaini even if his legs aren’t quite what they used to be. Daley Blind is not a left back, period. Luke Shaw was at least fit enough to run today so why not play him? Blind is a wonderful player when he is on his game but a liability when he isn’t, he gives away far too many goals. And Ibrahimovic may as well not have been there. Yes, he is world class, but in his current form could Anthony Martial do a better job than him until something is recaptured by the Swede? Utterly dreadful.
There isn’t much more to say about the game than what I already have. Antonio Valencia and Ander Herrera are the only ones that come away without any real criticism for me. De Gea made one or two decent stops but he was at fault for the first goal along with Chris Smalling, who reminded us of what he used to be before he found a bit of form. Today was a very dark day for Mourinho, the scoreline is one that United should never be on the end of, but it can be forgiven if there is an attacking intent but that was only seen for a grand total of 10 minutes throughout the entire game. It has been only months, and by no means should anybody be calling for sackings just yet, but Mr. Mourinho has a lot to sort out if this is going to be another successful reign for the manager.