Manchester United’s miserable 2-0 defeat at West Ham has raised more doubts. In which direction is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking the team?
Manchester United has experienced bad moments since Sir Ferguson’s departure. In such a stiff competition between West Ham, perhaps, a 2-0 defeat does not stand out as a particularly low point.
We can’t fail to admit there was something wrong about Manchester United. There routine, very predictable. This has left supporters “mourning” the loss.
West Ham United was good. But not that good. Nevertheless, they even didn’t need to be good. Even a middling performance from Manuel Pellegrini’s men was enough to see off Manchester United.
By the end, it is Solskjaer’s football club that will trouble them in the journey home.
The Red Devils could have moved to the third position in the Premier League table with a win behind the leading team and the defending champions.
But even Solskjaer is aware that the gap between the top two and what his team is producing is vast.
The defense doesn’t get a pass. They were too slow, too passive to close down West Ham in the build-up to the opener.
It happened in slow motion inside the penalty bios as Andriy Yarmolenko eluded Harry Maguire with his first touch and David de Gea with his second.
Aaron Creswell’s free-kick was brilliant. But did Ashley Young really need to foul Mark Noble?
The hope was that cohesion was coming after a clean sheet at home to Leicester. But it is a very different story away from old Trafford.
After winning his first nine away games in charge, Solskjaer has now failed to win any of the subsequent nine. His team has not managed a clean sheet in any of their last 11 away games. This has registered the club’s worst run in 17 years.
Solskjaer kept a positive spin pointing out that the London Stadium is “always a difficult ground to go to.” He reminded everyone that United also lost this fixture last season when his predecessor Jose Mourinho was in charge. It was his (Solskjaer) claim that his team “created big chances” that was the least persuasive of all.
James is one of only three men to score for United in the Premier League so far. At this point, Solskjaer could be without Rashford who was withdrawn with a groin problem joining Martial on the injury list.
By the end, United’s forward line included Angel Gomes and Jesse Lingard. The squad looks well short.
Solskjaer was insistent afterward that the right decision had been made in letting Alexis Sanchez leave. But how could they do with Romelu Lukaku now?
Instead, the red Devils are waiting to find out if Mason Greenwood will be fit to face Arsenal. It has come to something when they are hoping a 17-year-old boy with two starts to his name can come to the rescue.