To say Manchester United played badly against Feyenoord on Thursday night would perhaps be overplaying it, because it would suggest a level of actually playing.
In a game that even Louis van Gaal would have found boring, Manchester United were so lacklustre it became hard to criticise their actions, as there wasn’t much actually happening.
Marcus Rashford was hopelessly isolated upfront, and Paul Pogba didn’t seem to be able to do anything with the freedom he’d been given. Anthony Martial last season often had a disinterested look on his face but it was betrayed by his actual football being dynamic, last night even his vacant expression was more lively than the Frenchman’s input.
The team were sent out all wrong, just like against Manchester City, and manager Jose Mourinho will be thankful the club’s next two matches are against Watford and Northampton.
The poor performance in the Netherlands is being covered around Europe, Manchester United are even bigger news than normal, having spent a fortune in the summer and taken on Mourinho. There’s a lot of genuine interest, and of course there’ll be some who want the ‘project’ to fail.
AS say the performance was like the very worst days of Van Gaal’s reign, and they point out Pogba was ‘presented a perfect stage’ to excel, and didn’t.
Criticism is beginning to grow, and it’s unhelpful for Mourinho that Pep Guardiola has got off to such a flying start at Manchester City.
Convincing wins over Watford and Northampton, and then maybe over Leicester City, Zorya and Stoke City, should leave Mourinho’s men on a better footing before they face Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Anfield on October 17th.
An important month for the former Chelsea manager at his new club.