Well, it looks like we’re in for an eventful season doesn’t it?
After an embarrassing 3-2 defeat by Brighton, what was an opportunity at redemption for United turned into their worst nightmare in the space of 2 minutes and 12 seconds.
The first half was shocking, but for once, it was for all the right reasons. We showed more attacking intent in the opening 45 minutes than I can remember seeing from this side in a long time. Fred played in a wider and more advanced role than normal, and found himself in space on numerous occasions. Luke Shaw was bombarding down the left side all night, and put in another good performance despite the result.
For all of the attacking intent however, United just couldn’t convert their chances. Romelu Lukaku had a glorious chance to open the scoring after latching onto a poor backpass and rounding Hugo Lloris, before he somehow managed to miss the open goal.
Despite this, when the half time whistle went I was feeling positive, and thought that a win wasn’t as unlikely as I first imagined before kick off. However, that positivity quickly faded away after what transpired early in the second half.
As the game entered the 50th minute, an inspired leap from Harry Kane (and some extremely poor marking from Phil Jones) lead to Spurs grabbing the opener. This was quickly followed by more dreadful defending from the makeshift back 3 of Jones, Chris Smalling and Ander Herrera, as a low cross from Christian Eriksen wasn’t blocked by any of them, and Lucas Moura slotted home to double his side’s lead, and leaving United on the verge of a second straight defeat.
Jose Mourinho made changes to try and inspire his side, as well as bringing on Victor Lindelof for Jones, who picked up the 261st injury of his United career. However, neither Alexis Sanchez or Marouane Fellaini could inspire the Red Devils, and in the 82nd minute, the game was put to bed as Moura tore through the defence, easily beating Smalling (who committed far too early) and hammered it into the corner to give Spurs an unassailable 3-0 lead, and give them a massive early win as they look to prove critics wrong and mount a genuine title challenge.
As for United, the international break can’t come soon enough. For once, I can’t fault Moutinho for his approach in the game. Sure, some of his selections for the game seemed a bit odd (Herrera playing at centre back being the stand out) but he set up to attack and in the first half that’s exactly what they did. They really should have been 2-0 up going into the break, but poor conversion from Lukaku was what ultimately gave Spurs the incentive to go on and dominate the second half.
The 3 goals conceded were once again all errors from our brittle defence, so the fact that our board looked at Mourinho’s list of targets and decided that our current squad was just as good is downright scandalous. For a team who should be challenging for the title not to have a centre back partnership with experience is genuinely baffling. It’s become extremely clear that we need a director of football on the board who actually has experience playing the game and can sanction the transfers that we so desperately need to happen. I had faith in Ed Woodward in his first few years, but now it seems he’s merely a puppet under the Glazer’s control, a ‘yes man’ if you will. If we keep being satisfied with the money coming in without signing the talent needed, we are running the risk of becoming like Arsenal.