Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Southampton over the weekend brought out the absolute worst from the club’s fanbase – including yours truly – as they had to watch another pathetic attacking performance from their team.
The visitors went 1-0 up through Daniel James, the only positive aspect of the attack, and should have added more in a first-half which saw them dominate the ball and create chances.
However, as has recently been the case, the game somehow slipped away from United, who could not capitalise on Kevin Danso’s red card to produce a winner after Jannik Vestergaard equalised with a header.
On the morning after, in the cold light of day, I went to the good people of Twitter to see who they believed was the real cause behind Saturday’s horror show.
The results were incredibly varied, and perhaps a sign of how this malaise has become so endemic to the extent that nobody is exempt, that all are cursed.
Firstly, there were a number of angry fingers pointed at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose failure to put out a team capable of picking apart teams playing a low block was once again highlighted by many. Speaking to former Tottenham Hotspur and Brentford midfielder Brian Statham after the game, the main thing he wanted to emphasise was Solskjaer’s lack of ability at this level. It was a scathing weekend for the Norwegian.
— notecstatictobehere (@notecstatictob1) September 1, 2019
— Andy Thorpe ????⚽ (@AndrewT_MUFC) September 1, 2019
Ole and Rashford. Rashford seems to think he's the shit now and only does the most complicated things like he's Ronaldo. Ole for not being able to cement a way of playing. It's just as ineffective, ballwatching and slow play as last year.
— ⭕ ???????????????????????? (@ObiWanSimba) September 1, 2019
For people saying the glazers ???? it’s ole pic.twitter.com/ZmvzKZsETn
— cole (@cole48387662) September 1, 2019
And then they came for Marcus Rashford. The striker has looked off-colour since scoring a brace against Chelsea and was especially impotent at St Mary’s, seemingly unable to get on the end of anything in the box. As the leading striker, and in many ways the senior out of James and Jesse Lingard, his failure to show up going forward meant that there was no reference point for those last 20 minutes, during which United really should have scored.
— . (@booooooood_94) September 1, 2019
— GR7 (@RecklessGR7) September 1, 2019
— ????™️ (@TopSpotMUFC) September 1, 2019
— Ellis (@ellis__reid) September 1, 2019
Then, of course, was the anger targeted at the supervening structure, the fat cats, the Glazers, Ed Woodward – those faceless technocrats whose business-first approach has driven this club into a cultural quagmire which will take maybe a decade to fully emerge from. Scanning through the replies, the higher-ups probably just about edged it in terms of points.
— محمد المنير (@smoketurkey) September 1, 2019
— Dd D???? (@mufc_D) September 1, 2019
— Sanjay Sahni (@SanjaySahni) September 1, 2019
— Rhys Gwyn (@RhysGwynJ) September 1, 2019
— MUFC (@MUFC__57) September 1, 2019
At the start of this piece, I said that this game brought out the worst in all United fans, including me. Indeed, as the below response highlights, the very asking of this question was misplaced, a sign of the culture of doom and blame existing not just among United fans but indeed us Brits as a whole in this sticky Brexit period.
Why should we blame someone, that is who we are at the moment, with young team we going forward to our next lvl, we will have a lot hard moments but that is our challenge. We need to build our squad around young and hungry players.
— SuicideMessiah (@SuisajdMesija) September 1, 2019
Perhaps we ought to remember that Liverpool finished 8th under Jurgen Klopp, that things take time, that Solskjaer, actually, has a plan that needs time to actualise itself, that perhaps the most cancerous aspect of Saturday was indeed ourselves.