Abysmal – United at Rock Bottom after West Ham collapse

United are currently staring into an abyss. 3 lacklustre performances on the bounce have in the end bought a very dire and deserved loss against West Ham. United named an unchanged lineup from the Leicester match and again the team left much to be desired.

Undone by a Yarmolenko half-volley and a Cresswell wonder free-kick, United had 2 guilt edged chances to at least take a point from the match but were unable to convert them. Goals have become a worry for Manchester United this season having only managed more than 1 goal against Chelsea this season. Ashley Young was the player with the most PL goals from the United team that finished the game with a front 4 that has only managed 21 PL career goals between them (City have 24 this season and Liverpool 17).

Cresswell scored a wonder free-kick but should De Gea have done better? (Getty Images)

Confidence seems to be rock bottom for some players especially Marcus Rashford. 1 goal from open play this season, he looks a shadow of himself. He huffed and puffed all match, but again he failed to leave his mark on the match, getting bullied by defenders and unable to lead the line. He already looks overworked even though we are still in September and a groin injury means he might be out for 3 weeks. It’s difficult to see him start again as a sole striker once everyone is fit though.

West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League : News Photo
Marcus Rashford had a poor game before getting injured (Getty Images)

Defensively, United are an improved unit from last season. Wan Bissaka in particular is a monster in defence although his delivery from out wide needs improving. He found some promising positions on the right wing throughout the whole match, but his delivery was disappointing and rarely beat the first man.

Further up the pitch United’s problems are for all to see. Matic is looking increasingly out of depth in a red shirt. He was constantly bullied on the ball, kept giving away possession and is also very one-dimensional with the ball. This could and should be his last season at United. His replacement Fred should be ahead of him in the pecking order but a holding midfielder is a still a must for United in upcoming transfer windows.

West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League : News Photo
Matic was overran by Mark Noble throughout the match (Getty Images)

Mata has become one of United’s worst performers of late. Rewarded with a new contract last summer, he is giving absolutely nothing to United on the pitch. His touch seems to have deserted him, his pace regresses throughout a match and he looks like he can no longer pass the ball forward. For large parts of the match he was invisible and failed to leaving a meaningful impact on the match. Angel Gomes deserves to play instead of him. He can’t do worse than Juan Mata and its better to lose with a 19-year-old with potential to improve rather than Mata.

FBL-ENG-PR-WEST HAM-MAN UTD : News Photo
Mata missed an open during a delicate phase of play for United (Getty Images)

Picking out United’s best front 4 is becoming quite the headache. With everyone fully fit, Martial should be the only choice as a number 9. Daniel James has made the left wing his own. Mata/Lingard are the only options behind the striker, at least until Gomes starts getting some meaningful minutes. On the right is were United lack options and quality the most. Bereft of a right winger last season, United’s only offensive acquisition this summer was a winger who like all current United wingers can’t play on the right. At the moment Pereira seems to be the preferred option currently ahead of Greenwood who might lead the line against Rochdale if fit. What is striking is that Rashford no longer seems to be in the first eleven for United. Ole will still try to fit him into the side, either by playing 2 up top (effective against Chelsea) or pushing James to the right, which is a counter productive move.

Ole has always said that United are in the middle of a rebuilding process. This can be clearly seen after the first 6 matches. However, it is time for United to pick things up as the football is currently mediocre. Calling for the manager’s head is pointless at this time. The club must move in a direction and it is trying to do so under Solskjaer. Changing manager at this time would be another short sighted decision and we’ve seen too many of those in the last 6 years.

West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League - London Stadium : News Photo
Performance, decision and in-game management have to improve but Ole should be given enough time to finish the rebuilding process

Extra: Ratings from the match against West Ham:

  • De Gea – 5
  • Only managed a weak hand Creswell’s free-kick

Wan Bissaka – 6.5

De Gea – 5

  • Weak hand to Creswell’s frekick
  • Superb defensivly but needs a better end product

Superb defensivly but needs a better end product

Wan Bissaka – 6.5

Lindelof – 4

Bullied by Haller and wasteful in possession

Maguire – 5

Could have done better against Yarmolenko but assured otherwise

Young – 5

Offered nothing in attack

Matic – 3

Overrun by Mark Noble. Not good enough

McTominay – 5

One of United’s best players this season. Energy and desire but lacks creativity

James – 6

Best offensive player but often let down by his team mates

Mata – 1

Invisible

Pereira – 4

Loses possession too easily but best crosser at the club and should have got an assist but for Juan Mata

Rashford – 3

Offered nothing in attack

Subs:

Lingard – 5

Played as striker but failed to leave an impact

Fred – 6

Played some decent forward passes in-between the lines. Should start against Arsenal

Gomes – N/A

Came on late and pushed inexplicably to the left rather than played down the middle

De Gea – 5

  • Only managed a weak hand Creswell’s free-kick

Wan Bissaka – 6.5

  • Superb defensively but needs a better end product

Lindelof – 4

  • Bullied by Haller and misplaced too many passes

Maguire – 5

  • Could have done better against Yarmolenko but assured otherwise

Young – 5

  • Offered nothing in attack

Matic – 3

  • Overrun by Mark Noble. Not good enough

McTominay – 5

  • One of United’s best players this season. Energy and desire but lacks creativity

James – 6

  • Best offensive player but often let down by his team mates

Mata – 1

  • Invisible

Pereira – 4

  • Loses possession too easily but best crosser at the club and should have got an assist but for Juan Mata

Rashford – 3

  • Offered nothing in attack

Subs:

Lingard – 5

  • Played as striker but failed to leave an impact

Fred – 6

  • Played some decent forward passes in-between the lines. Should start against Arsenal

Gomes – N/A

  • Came on late and pushed inexplicably to the left rather than played down the middle
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