It is a new day but the pain among Manchester United fans will not magically disappear after they witnessed their club get annihilated 0-4 at the hands of Brentford.
Not that hopes were too high ahead of kick-off but what transpired was beyond belief. Supporters have been skeptical about United’s chances this season after the club failed to back Erik ten Hag in the transfer market.
With Anthony Martial and Victor Lindelof‘s continued absence, Ten Hag had to once again shuffle his pack, and this time he went with Cristiano Ronaldo upfront and Christian Eriksen alongside Fred in midfield.
The opening nine minutes were cagey but then David de Gea made an absolute howler as he let in a weak grass-cutter from Josh Dasilva.
And heads started dropping as soon as the opener was conceded. The Spaniard just could not overcome that first gaffe mentally and soon played a huge part in allowing the London club to go further in front.
Mathias Jensen pressed Eriksen and the United No 1 still chose to play it out to the Dane. Jensen closed him down and won back the ball and slotted home.
The lack of game awareness was staggering and once again highlighted how much of a liability the Spain international is with the ball at his feet.
DDG fronts up
“I cost three points to my team today and it was a poor performance from myself. It was a horrible day,” De Gea said after the match.
“I should save the first shot and the result would be different. Sometimes I maybe have to read the game better and go long (for second goal).”
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The third goal came from a well worked corner routine and while De Gea was not directly to blame, his penchant for staying rooted to the line was once again on display.
David Raya, on the other hand, played as a sweeper keeper and once frequently seen coming off his line. A heat map of United’s keeper showed how he stayed glued to the line once again.
His shot-stopping aside, De Gea pretty much has gone downhill in every other aspect in the last few years and high-profile errors have become pretty much standard affair.
If Ten Hag continues to try to play out from the back, it is either going to end in disaster or the Dutchman needs to take some drastic steps. De Gea, however, still seemed confident that he would be able to adapt to the boss’ methods.
“When the games that matter you need bravery and be proper players. We have to keep working, head up, it is the beginning under a new manager and a lot to improve,” the 31-year-old added.
But the most worrying aspect of the entire post-match interaction was the Madrid-born shot-stopper’s admission that he did not know how his team could fix these issues in the coming weeks.
“I am not sure to be honest. We are not like other teams conceding first and winning 5-1 6-1. It was an easy save and after I concede, everyone could feel that we went downhill from there.”