WHAT a difference a week makes.
Seven days ago, United were basking in the success of Erik ten Hag’s first trophy at Wembley after beating Newcastle United 2-0 in the Carabao Cup Final.
A week later – United have been humiliated 7-0 at Anfield by their greatest rivals Liverpool.
It’s hard to know where to start really. United have had an excellent season and are certainly on the right path under Ten Hag.
They sit comfortably in the Champions League places and have a trophy in the bag – something most supporters would have snapped your hand off for following early back-to-back Premier League defeats to Brighton and Brentford.
Up until the Carabao Cup win United had received plenty of praise, and rightly so.
They went on an incredible run of form, particularly at home, and beat Barcelona in decent fashion over two legs in the Europa League play off.
There is though, a softness to them that somehow still exists.
In the previously mentioned Brentford encounter United conceded four. At City it was six, and yesterday, seven!
I think the earlier batterings were due to Ten Hag tweaking and finding out what his ‘best’ and most reliable starting XI was.
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The game at Liverpool on Sunday came down to a bit of tiredness but also a lack of quality in depth.
While Raphael Varane and Casemiro have been excellent signings, they can’t do it all on their own.
Varane looked weary as he sometimes does, while Casemiro appeared to be carrying a knock.
But they had to play, given what United has on the bench. Marcel Sabitzer has been a welcome addition, but Scott McTominay simply isn’t good enough.
After that, there’s not a lot of options other than Fred who tends to start next to Casemiro.
So squad depth and quality is definitely something that will be addressed in the summer window.
Tut there’s a way to lose, and what we saw from Bruno Fernandes – the Manchester United captain – was unforgivable, and serious questions should be asked about his suitability for the role.
The Portuguese star was at his petulant best, throwing his arms in the air, feigning injury, not trying, being unprofessional, even half-heartedly pushing the linesman.
It was pathetic and a disgrace to the badge.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ten Hag give the armband to someone else for the next fixture if Harry Maguire doesn’t start.
It acts as a reminder to United fans, of the work that still needs to be done.
The ownership issue needs to be resolved as quickly as possible, and the players who aren’t required beyond this season should start making plans for life away from Old Trafford.
Let’s be clear, that the defeat was the fault of all the players, not just Fernandes.
But, as captain of one of the biggest clubs in the world, and with a huge global audience, the manager and supporters are entitled to expect better.
Hopefully United get back on track this week against Real Betis in the Europa League and the Liverpool defeat was the last in a line of capitulations.