Updated: Aug 8
Even after losing two of their best players, Cucurella and Bissouma, Brighton still managed to make United look like a mid-table team. Whose fault is it though? The Glazers, Arnold, the players, Erik ten Hag? Let's take a look at what happened...
Being the first game of the new season and the start of the "Erik ten Hag era", you would normally expect the players to go out and give everything for the new Manager and the fans, especially after the disaster that was last season which saw United end the Premier League with their worst campaign in history, while also not winning any trophy. Did that happen today? Absolutely not.
Brighton inflicted a shock defeat at Old Trafford as United were comprehensively outplayed in Erik ten Hag's first outing In a thoroughly one-sided first halt, Brighton punished a highly unorganised United setup as the Seagulls cruised into a comfortable two-goal lead to send Erik ten Hag marching towards the tunnel with a sizeable task on his hands. The second half was better for the Red Devils but not good enough and after another average 45 minutes, United's first game of the season ended in a devastating and shocking 2-1 loss.
The players that the majority of fans pointed out today for their terrible performance were Scott McTominay, Fred, Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire.
Some comments from the fans:
"Midfield is the worst in the league."
"Utd player's Football IQ is non-existent."
"Luke Shaw was poor, McTominay + Fred.. well, we know they are average at best."
" I don’t want to see Scott McTominay starting for Manchester United again."
"More signing needed" is the message from the fans. And that is undoubtedly true. Everyone saw today the problems that still exist at United with the biggest one being the inexistent midfield. McFred, which is what the duo of McTominay and Fred are called by the fans, started their fifth consecutive season in a row and the fans are losing it.
Manchester United started their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong on the 11th of May. 88 days later, the midfield sensation still hasn't arrived at Old Trafford. "Absolute joke", described by the fans.
Most fans agree that United need 5 more players this window. Two midfielders, two forwards and one right-back. Will that happen? Probably not. And the fans have every right to be upset about the situation at their beloved Club.
Former United interim manager Ralf Rangnick said in an interview that United needed around 10 new signings and the fans agreed. What happened to him? He got sacked weeks later, with the fans speculating it was because of his constant comments regarding the team's need to improve and significantly invest in the market.
The protests against the owners, the Glazer family, continued today and the performance justified the fans' actions completely.
Former Manchester United Captain and Legend of the club Roy Keane said this about the game:
"No real surprises. The same shortcomings. They threw Ronaldo, not fully fit on, and that was a gamble that didn't really work out. You were hoping for more from Man United. Not good enough out of possession. Those shortcomings are not going to change... There is no pressure on the ball. Credit to Brighton.
"The decision making and the football intelligence from the midfield two of Fred and McTominay is not good enough. They will not get Man United back to the top. They are not good enough and they are not up to it."
A new manager, a fresh start but the same old problems emerged. Erik ten Hag has work to do....