Man United get an absolute shoeing in this Mailbox. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Poor old Sergio Romero having to watch David De Gea phone it in.
Dean Henderson cannot come back to the club soon enough.
Mark Danger Endicott, MUFC
The actual f*ck did I just watch??
Shower of sh*t performance by United aside, a few other factors came in to play.
Chelsea had 48 hours extra rest over Man Utd and that should never have been allowed to happen. Chelsea players looked much fresher.
Mike Dean let Chelsea foul left, right and centre and decided none of them needed a card. Not even on a totting-up basis. Utter waste of a referee’s shirt. The penalty given to us would’ve been given by VAR anyway, so Mike Dean couldn’t hide.
That said, VAR is supposed to favour Man Utd, right? That’s the heavy narrative levelled against us since it came in but as you can all see, it doesn’t. VAR needs to be changed to look at all incidents and Mike Dean should have checked the monitor. To check Martial wasn’t fouled in the box, surely VAR would have to have checked the replay right? Should have at least been a red for the last defender. It’s like a copper giving you a breathalyser test, you passing it but having a kilo of cocaine in your lap and the copper letting you go.
Ben, Up T’North
…I hate to sound like a broken record but I have been saying this was coming since the Sheffield United game. I would say that Ole deserves all the blame, but on this occasion De Gea takes that particular prize. What in the shuddering f*ck was he playing at with any of those goals?! Maybe he gets a little degree of grace for the first because it was quite close to him, but the second and third? No professional goalkeeper should be letting those in, never mind the most highly paid ‘keeper in history. He should never, ever play for this club again and be sold at the earliest opportunity. He has become an utter embarrassment and isn’t worth £349,999 of the £350k he is paid per week. Sergio Romero wouldn’t have let any of those three goals in, on what basis was he not picked?!
But Ole really f*cked it. That starting line-up was an abomination. This was not the day for half-rotation; that time had long since passed. Today should have been either the strongest 11 in our best formation, or entirely changed and key players rested for the remaining league fixtures and Europa League. What we got was a formation that has rarely been used, and even more rarely successful, using a selection of players that are mostly incompatible with it or each other. A back five doesn’t work. Fred and Matic in midfield doesn’t work. Rashford and James up front does not effing work.
Not to mention how breathtakingly stupid it is to play every single available centre-back at once. Of course we would then pick up at least one injury. And then, to add insult to literal injury, Ole puts on Greenwood and Pogba, risking them further when the game had clearly already gone. At 47 minutes, he should have withdrawn Bruno, Rashford, Matic and Martial for all the difference it would have made.
Ole has burned out our best 11 – we have peaked far too soon. Instead of putting three or more past Sheffield, Villa, Brighton and Bournemouth, all using the exact same players for most of the minutes, we should have been resting players when we had the chance. We didn’t, and now not only have we lost a winnable game to get to a final but our best players look both exhausted and completely demoralised by that sh*t show.
Today was an utter embarrassment; Chelsea won this game at walking pace. Granted, they had an extra two days’ rest before this game, which is frankly disgraceful scheduling, but that’s not why we lost. This was not an exceptional performance proving too much for their opponents, but a hard working group of players used correctly and taking the opportunities so readily presented to them. Don’t get me wrong, Chelsea were good, but they didn’t have to play out of their skins or anything; they just turned up and played their natural game while we imploded in front of them.
The West Ham game is now hugely significant and, to add to the pressure, we now need a group of players who were utterly embarrassed today to turn it around. That performance today has the potential to derail and destroy the rest of our season. West Ham, who will be playing with no pressure on them at all having secured their Premier League safety, will be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of playing us now. Win, and top four is all but secured, barring a huge loss at Leicester. Lose, and the season will go down as a total disaster. It’s make or break now and I don’t think we have it in us.
…Well that was a sh*t show that was due. Ole’s made one key mistake in these past few games, IMHO, and that is to not have any rotation for the first eleven so they can be rested, and the squad can get some game time. Consequently, the whole first team looks knackered, and anybody who has to come in because of injury seems to lack the confidence (Fred, Williams, Fosu Mensa). For the FA Cup the lure of a trophy, especially with Arsenal winning, perhaps swayed the decisions, but he could have played Romero, McTominay, and Ighalo from the start at least. United have been getting slower and slower with each game and today there was barely a ball that they got to before Chelsea, all game. Even aimless clearances were plucked out of the sky by a player in blue with no United player within touching distance. The weird number of head injuries felt like a result of tired players throwing themselves at the ball as well. Three quarters through the game, I was shocked to see Chelsea and United’s pass completion rate was almost the same. Didn’t feel like it at all!
On balance, I’ll take that. I’d rather we did this against Chelsea in the FA Cup, than against Leicester, or West Ham for that matter. I hope the players get some rest, and be ready to go again. This was as close as you can get to Anonymous 11. It did shine an unkind light on Pogba – who has played a lot less than the others, came on for half the game and looked like he was running through jelly. And there’s your Pogba problem. He doesn’t show up when everybody around him is struggling. And Dan James, I’m afraid needs to add a lot more to his game than run fast. He can’t tackle, and can’t beat a player, which at this level is really unacceptable.
De Gea’s problem seems weird. It feels like there was a time when he would need to make half a dozen saves a game, and was always in the thick of things, and he lost the focus required to play in a team when you have nothing to do for long periods, and is unable to concentrate any more. Whatever it is, I hope he finds his best form whether here or somewhere else, he’s too good a keeper be remembered for these mistakes.
At the end of the day, Chelsea outplayed United, but the result was still decided by two keeping howlers and an own goal which could have been kept out too. I wouldn’t be too despondent about it. There’s a lot to play for and we’re still far ahead of where we expected to be as a team.
It would be churlish to end without mentioning Chelsea. High energy game, excellent and effective pressing, barely allowed the defenders time to breathe, and executed well. Reece James would have been my man of the match. Deserving winners. Well played.
Ved Sen, MUFC
…Then pundits and commentators were quick to blame De Gea for conceeding the goals, but try not to be hiased against him and watch the game objectively then it will be obvious that De Gea was only at fault for the seond goal. For the first and the third goal, the ball came at a split second that saving them aren’t as easy as the pundits made them out to be. De Gea also made several other spectacular saves to keep Manchester United in the game before they finally conceded the third goal.
The fact that Manchester United weren’t able to dominate the game was the reason for the defeat, there is only so much that a goalkeeper can do if he has to deal with that many shots. Some are going to end up in the net. Blaming De Gea will only cover Manchester United’s lack of organization in defence in the game against Chelsea.
I don’t know how to explain what’s happened to De Gea so I’ll let someone smarter than me try to do that. But Maguire lost us that game more than De Gea in my opinion, and I’d rather keep De Gea than Maguire as De Gea may still remember how to save shots that are right at him. In a standard match, Maguire will foul the opponents by wrestling with them and win headers from corners at a freakish rate but then put them all wide. In a bad match, he’ll do all of that but also injure our only competent centre back and score an goal. Jesus Christ what a shitshow. Is he worse than David Luiz?
Chelsea deserved their win and United should just be happy to have top four in their own hands so I’m not too disappointed by the result, but under such circumstances it’s hard not to be a fed up with our calamity players.
…Barca binned Coutinho after less than a season. United need to realise they made a mistake with Maguire and take necessary action. He’s not good enough. That game is just the latest in a long line of shitshows from him. It wasn’t just how he was beaten for the first and third goals but who he was beaten by as well. There was multiple passes to the opposition and then there was this…
— Sam Martin (@SmuelMartinFPL) July 19, 2020
That is just ridiculous from a supposed top-level centre-back.
As for de Gea, he’s done. Has been for a while. I don’t care about “different pressure” or whatever the f**k, if there isn’t money available for the likes of Donarumma, Henderson has to come in next season. It’s just crazy keeping de Gea now. Yes, he served the club well but sentiment isn’t the basis for decisions at this level. Thank him for his service, pray that the silly amount of money he’s been paid will console him but send him out.
Fair play to Matic for controlling possession against Brighton and Villa but he’s been way overhyped lately, again, and also needs an upgrade. AWB is the only one in the back six who doesn’t need an upgrade. Top four next season is going to be a slog once again.
None of that defence should survive
De Gea will still be #1 at Utd next season. He’s too expensive to drop or sell – nobody will want him on his wages. The once world-class GK has irreversibly declined, and anything other than keeping him #1 will create another Alexi Sanchez scenario: a faded talent on unmovable wages. Poor Dean Henderson. For that matter, poor Sergio Romero (he must have looked enviously at compatriot Willy Caballero tonight, a fellow understudy to a struggling #1, but at least getting the cup games).
One of Solksjaer’s biggest strengths is his media handling: he never criticises his players. But privately, he must want De Gea away. Under his management, he hasn’t got anywhere near the best out of De Gea. I’m not saying that’s Ole’s fault, but he is stuck with him. He has inherited De Gea and his baggage.
One player he didn’t inherit is Harry McGuire. So just like De Gea, he is a cert in Utd’s first choice 11. This means that no matter how well Utd strengthen this summer, De Gea and Maguire at the back spine will never see Utd as title challengers, however potent their attack.
Similarly, as an Ole signing, Wan Bissaka will stay first choice RB. I think he’ll be better next season, but I don’t think he or Shaw are anywhere near good enough as full backs for title challengers or even top 4 contenders next season. Even looking beyond the FBs at the traditional top 6, the likes of Chillwell, Pereira, Jonny, Digne are all superior FBs. Shaw and AWB are of top 10 quality at best, not top four.
In summary, Utd’s defence will mean that however exciting the attacking threat, Utd will probably finish no better than 4th or 5th place next season.
Considering that defeat was our first loss in since losing to Burnley on the 22nd January 2020, think it’s not the worst defeat in the world and goes to show how well United have improved. First loss in 19 games, I think. If United win our last two games, we will be playing Champions League football, so it’s important to remain optimistic and positive. However, it would be a lie from any fan if I can’t say that it was certainly a disappointing defeat to Chelsea in the Semi-Final for a number of reasons.
United had found such fantastic form since the comeback to football from the lockdown and were scoring goals for fun, defending relatively well (Still lots of room for improvement in this area though) and looking dangerous on most attacks. But today, the chemistry and link up play between some of the players was WAY too off and it’s because they haven’t played together in games for such a long time since the restart. The team had a HUGE chance to go to their first proper final together as a group under Ole and win it, but essentially bottled it. I am not too sure what Ole was thinking with some of the selections he made today for the starting line-up. It was a Semi-Final for the FA Cup and he benches BOTH Greenwood & Martial who have been unreal for United since the restart. In the last 7 games, Martial and Greenwood had scored 10 goals between each other. Even Pogba didn’t start which I thought was very odd. I understand if he is tired and didn’t want to risk another injury, but it was a Semi Final of the main domestic cup competition so yeah bit odd. Not saying the decision making is the reason for the defeat today, perhaps it was just a bad day at the office and Chelsea played a good game where individual errors certainly helped them. But I think it may have been part the reason we lost quite badly and if the same mistakes keep happening in big games, Ole, his backroom staff and the team will have to learn and start challenging each other more in training, psychologically and physically, sooner rather than later if they want to start winning trophies.
I am not too sure if it is due to the fact Chelsea were pressing very well and but was genuinely quite surprised that they had sustained this consistently for 100+ mins quite well. Got to give credit where it is due, its looking like a young team under Frank Lampard with lots of energy and some of the players they are signed/have signed already do look decent and have played at the highest level in Champions League. Backing them to win it against Arsenal but it should be a cracking game.
Don’t want to be too critical on De Gea, but his mistakes today were incredibly frustrating to witness. The goal for Giroud, okay sure he could have saved it, but his defenders weren’t really helping him and the crosses were being put in most game from either side and it was only a matter of time until Giroud lost his marker. But the 2nd goal was pitiful and really rubbish. Strong words, but also very true. It wasn’t even a good shot from Mount. It somewhat reminded me of the 2nd goal he ever let in as United player against Dzeko in the Community Shield back in 2011 at Wembley. It was far out, but a powerful shot and he got criticized a lot in that game and other games that season for some of the goals that were conceded. In fact, Ferguson even dropped him at one point as a kick up the arse. He even got criticized strongly and was put under pressure even after his very first game for United. You are 20 years old and you are replacing a Legendary keeper in Edwin Van der Sar; who was twice your age when he left and won 10+ trophies with United in 6 years. De Gea is World Class for how he handled that pressure, but maybe he doesn’t want to carry on United and move on. Ferguson certainly protected De Gea very well in the first few years when he made those first couple of mistakes and you could arguably say that very same faith and confidence in him, in which Ferguson saw this huge potential; helped him become the best keeper in the Premier League for a good 3-4 years. He had saved United countless times and is one of the main reasons United have played Champions League football in the last few years. But was it normal that our best player for a very long time was our Goalkeeper?
To put it shortly, De Gea signed that big fat contract of money a couple of years ago, where he essentially held the club to ransom because he knew how valuable he was and how much money the club had. So, he got his wish and signed a big wage boost in his current contract. Some would say it was deserved, and others could say it was desperate from the club. But De Gea should be seen as one of the senior players showing by example and leading on the pitch having been there for 9 years playing with some pretty great players. If he isn’t motivated and doesn’t trust his teammates, he shouldn’t be starting in goal. Since that contract got signed, his concentration, form and consistency have all dropped. It sucks to see as a United fan because he was so good for so many years. De Gea did stay loyal to the club when he was heavily linked with Real Madrid for ages too, but at the same time, he was a United player who was still improving and learning too. I think it’s time to try and give a chance in goal for another keeper next season in Romero or Henderson and create that competitiveness again. I think Ole would be quite foolish not at least give another keeper a good run of games at the start of next season.
United CANNOT keep letting in such easy goals because of individual errors and keep finding excuses for it. What kind image does that represent for the team?
Dirty, dirty Chelsea
Fair play to Chelsea, can’t really complain about the score. We were sloppy and caused most of our own issues. I don’t feel like dissecting the game as I’m sure others will do that, but I just want to highlight the main reason we couldn’t get any rhythm going, regardless of what system we were playing.
Chelsea made 21 fouls. 21 fouls yet not one yellow card. We made nine and of course got a booking. Hopefully the next time we play them Ole makes a song and dance about it like Frank did about our recent (correct) VAR decisions.
In terms of our reaction, we need to shake this off and focus on the last two league games. Bad weekend in the cup but that Leicester result should give us all the motivation we need to get the job done. Maybe even if Liverpool and Wolves do us a favour we can have the last laugh over today’s deserved winners.
Garey Vance, MUFC
A good Sunday for Chelsea fans
FA Cup semi-finalists, Leicester being defeated by Spurs, pleasing our sponsors with another three-goal scoreline and it was quite warm outside, what a lovely Sunday it was.
Impressive performance from the entire Chelsea side against arguably the inform team in England right now, Frank Lampard has been criticized by many, myself included for his tactics but he got them spot on against United, we dominated the game from start to finish, David De Gea naturally helped out with not the best goalkeeping display, has there been a similar situation in which a goalkeeper not playing for a Manchester side has gone from being top class to a liability in such a short space of time?
Looking forward to midweek against Liverpool, with a fully rested Christian Pulisic and hopefully secure our Top 4 spot.
Mikey, CFC (Mason Mount is a special talent, England have such a good core of youth right now)
Lampard and Arteta > Ole
Lampard has really humiliated Ole here. Made him look like a proper mug.
I am certain that, given the same piggy bank that Ole has been given at Manyoo, both Lampard and Arteta would do far better than struggling to scrape to 4th place and bottling cup semi finals. Lucky for Ole that Rodgers and Leicester appear to be far better at bottling.
In fact, Lampard is doing better than that this very season, without Ole’s trust fund.