Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United’s successor, has a new setback. Everything related to the club – from managing vice president Ed Woodward, manager Ole Gunner Soulscare, to Glazer’s family ownership and players to this humiliating 6-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur – will be examined.
Almost every one of Tottenham’s six goals could be a candidate of the defensive pieces a United team has ever managed on their own turf. Jose Mourinho left Old Trafford, not only beating his former bosses, but embarrassing them. It was a miraculous victory for him and Tottenham, before Anthony Marshall sent off the 28th minute, the highest in all respects.
Since Ferguson’s retirement and fall from the club’s favor, the pessimistic outcry for new signings at United has been growing louder. Edinson Cavani and Alex Dellas both flew to Manchester on Sunday evening, and there were other options when it came to entertaining on the plane. The two are expected to finalize the last pit moves before the transfer deadline on Monday. United have not yet conceded defeat in the pursuit of Jadon Sancho.
If a performance explains that problems are not solved by throwing good money after bad, this is it. Bruno Fernandez – a player who was hailed as a savior before his arrival and then briefly lived up to the billing – was hooked at half-time. Paul Pogba, who came to Old Trafford as the most expensive player in the world, missed at least two goals. Six sent defenses and the goalkeeper signed a total of 9 209 million. Spending money is not a panic.
United may need reinforcement, but they are strong enough to avoid falling into these depths, just as they did fifteen days ago to avoid an early defeat defeat against Crystal Palace. Soulscare has been responsible for missing any consistency in results over the past year and a half, with vague, lifeless performance following long unbeaten runs. Sancho or not Sancho, it will not be resolved before 11pm on Monday. They are so much more than that.
For the first time in the Premier League era, at home or away, United conceded four goals in the first half, but actually took the lead. Fernandez scored from the penalty spot after blowing the final whistle at Brighton in the last Premier League release, just 23 seconds after Marshall landed under the challenge of Davinson Sanchez. In fact, the move from Fernandes to 12 yards may be the only reliable thing about United at the moment.
That lead lasted only three minutes and was destroyed by United’s first tragic inefficient defense. In an almost humorous fashion, Maguire threw the ball in the face of center-back partner Bailey, who started a top flight for the first time since April 2019 and played just like that. As it bounced back in Maguire’s direction, another limp from the United captain sent the ball towards the goal. Luke Shaw tried to stop Eric Lamela, but the ball broke loose in the area and Dangui called Nompole home to punch.
If it’s bad, Tottenham’s second defense isn’t the best. After a cheap Maguire foul against Kane in midfield, a quick free-kick sent Son Hyung-minute to each other. The South Korean shook Bailey and the border was embarrassing. Shaw tried to block the sliding end, but was sent off by his goalkeeper. It is a shortcoming to say anything other than that United’s efforts are utterly bad.
For every goal Tottenham have plundered since then, United could point to sending the controversial Marshall for leaving them with 10 men. This is a bad decision. Marshall certainly pushed Lamela’s face with his hand as he waited for delivery in the Tottenham corner, but only after Lamela pushed his forehead into the middle of Marshall and his neck. This is the type of incident where no action or two red cards are required. Punishing only one player felt unfair.
Still, this cannot be used as an excuse. Within minutes of Marshall leaving, Tottenham had doubled their lead and, again, United were the only ones to blame. A bad attempt to get out from behind with a goal kick, Bailey’s pass was blocked on the edge of his own penalty area. The son advanced in the box against the manned United defenders, but found the square time and space for Kane as he punched a low finish past De Jia’s frustrated dive.
United were only interested in finding new and even more ridiculous ways to allow Tottenham to score. Shaw emptied his left-back position completely, and Nombley lined up as a center half as he sprayed the ball into that wing. When Maguire went to cover his teammate, Shaw went for another wander, allowing the Sun to go unchallenged in the right-hand corner of the six-yard box. Just as the son’s finish from a tight angle went through de Jia, so the Aryan’s cross went through Maguire’s legs.
It may not be credible that it was the third best defensive record on the first flight last season, but United’s original defensive numbers have always been a little misleading. In most Premier League games, United provide opportunities for their opponents to have more goal-scoring possibilities by enjoying largely old possessions. In transition, against dynamic counter-attack systems, their shortcomings will be terribly exposed.
Nothing should be taken from Tottenham, however, as he scored fifth at the start of the second half. The ball loosened for a while as Tottenham progressed in the build-up, but when no United player bothered to chase it, they happily allowed Pierre-Emile Hodgeberg to switch the game to the right. The Aryan blindfolded a steady bogeyman and entered the penalty area, attacking a musical end across Di Jia.
In sixth place Bogba made a mistake again, giving Ben Davis a brilliant penalty. Kane changed and exacerbated Soulskeiser’s grief, and he complained to Marshall’s red card to Taylor, the final whistleblower. Anyone who has seen this poor performance knows for sure that United’s problems run deeper than that.