Manchester United slumped to a humiliating 2-0 defeat away to bottom-placed club Watford on Sunday. Two goals by Ismaila Sarr and Troy Deeney sealed a shocking win at Vicarage Road for the Hornets.
The only positive thing was that this game featured the return of Paul Pogba for Reds. He made his appearance after being sidelined for a prolonged period of time. But everything else in United’s performance was a disaster.
Both sides struggled to create opportunities from the start, but it Jesse Lingard went close to scoring in the 34th minute when tried to chip Ben Foster. However his attempt went over the bar after a brilliant through ball from Anthony Martial. Abdoulaye Doucoure for Watford attempted a header from the center of the box, but missed the target.
In the second-half, the Red Devils fell behind. A Will Hughes free-kick was headed towards Ismaila Sarr and his shot bounced into the ground and then it slipped through the hands of David De Gea at the near post. The goal came in the 50th minute, and it was a routine save that the Spanish keeper should of made but somehow made a critical error.
Then four minutes later, striker Troy Deeney would score from the penalty spot. Sarr was inexplicably brought down from behind in the box by Aaron Wan-Bissaka. United was really in trouble now and Daniel James was replaced just before the hour mark, along with Pogba replacing Lingard at the 64th minute mark.
Watford’s Will Hughes shot went high and wide, and Mason Greenwood also a header that went high over the bar after an assist by Marcus Rashford. Several minutes later Troy Deeney missed his attempt after a cross by Adrian Mariappa. United missed another chance to get a goal back when with 14 minutes to go Paul Pogba’s right-footed shot from outside the box was saved by Foster.
In the late stages of the match, Greenwood would blaze his left-footed shot over the bar, and in the first minute of injury time Martial would see his shot saved by the keeper after an assist by Fred. Juan Mata also had an attempt he missed after a direct free-kick, and that’s how the game ended.
Watford had only scored 4 goals at home so far this season, and this was the most ugly loss United I believe has ever had. They are still at the bottom of the table and this loss was just totally unacceptable from us. Questions has to asked about whether the players a really motivated to win matches especially against the weaker teams in league.
Questions also has be asked of whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can motivate his team to win games on a regular basis especially against weaker teams. We were able to play at a high-level and impressively beat Spurs and Manchester City, but yet still we falter badly in a 1-1 draw to Everton at Old Trafford and then we lose to bottom-placed Watford.
These are matches that we should win everytime hands down, yet we play down to sides who are at a mediocre level, compared to us. I know that we are lacking some quality in certain areas of the squad and we have been inconsistent this season, but we have better talent and quality than many or most of teams in the league.
I am not sure that Ole is the right man to lead United forward, because part of his problem seems to be that he can’t inspire his players to victories even when we’re playing poorly. Under Sir Alex there were matches where we were poor or mediocre by our standards, but we still won usually against the weaker sides or got a draw.
Our first-half may be poor, but Sir Alex would rally his players to grind out a win usually in the end. He made sure that we showed greater effort and the players lifted their standard of play in the second-half of matches. But we have seen these scenarios too many times over the 18 months or so that Ole has been in charge.
The players also have to honestly look a themselves in the mirror and ask themselves Why can’t I motivate myself to play at a high-level against teams that are much weaker than us?
I believe that at the end of the season, we may have to sack Solskjaer and bring in Mauricio Pochettino if he’s still available. But if we were to win the Europa League or League Cup or both then it would be difficult to see Ole getting fired at the end of the season. We’ll see what happens at the end of season and if we qualify for the Champions League or not.
Tell me your thoughts on this match. Do you believe Ole is the right man to motivate and lead United forward in the future? Or should he be sacked at the end of the season?