Nemanja Vidic has hit out at Manchester United for failing to move the ball quicker during their 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.
Jose Mourinho’s men made a lethargic start and, despite deserving a penalty for a clear foul on Ander Herrera, allowed the hosts to settle into the game.
More of the same came after half time and the visitors, who had just three wins all season going into this game, took the lead and hung on as a neurotic Man United side cluelessly scrambled to claim an equaliser we all knew wouldn’t come.
And Vidic, speaking after the game, was notably disappointed with the tempo of his former side against the Baggies.
If this game told us anything, it is that what we saw in the second half against Man City last weekend is not a way of playing hardwired into this team. If anything, it was the prospect of embarrassment – of looking like clowns – which spurred them on, rather than anything to do with Mourinho’s tactical approach.
Against West Brom, with United tasked with bringing the initiate and setting the pace, they once again lacked any clear attacking idea. Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez were drifting inwards and clogging up the middle. Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young were slow and predictable. Romelu Lukaku was on his own. It was as if a number of smaller games were happening in different sections of the pitch, several parts failing to make up any kind of whole.
Ultimately, it led to a stultified performance. This last week has given us the very best and very worst of United as an attacking collective. Mourinho needs to use both games as models from which to improve his attack over the summer.