Let’s just get this over with. Caicedo, a former United target opened the scoring, after shocking play from Telles. More on that player later. United were so bad, it looked as if they were a League One side coming to take a scalp out of Brighton in the FA Cup but had a gone a game too far. Even with the introduction of Fred and Cavani at half time, United continued. Cucurella rattled it into the top corner to make it two. Gross would follow with a third soon after and then Trossard with the fourth. The only good part of the day is that the final whistle means only one more 90 minutes to watch this wretched collective of players turn out in the kits of Man Utd.
In a season where everything that could possibly go wrong did go wrong, every aspect of United, from the board down to the players on the pitch has been pored over. Well most has. The players’ ability has been questioned, their work ethic, their mentality, their capability to understand tactical instructions. But genuinely, when everything is going that wrong, your confidence is going to be on the floor. You always perform better when you’re happy and vice versa with the reverse.
As bad as these United players are, they are not this bad. What was on display today is the worst I have seen from any 11 that put on the shirt of the Red Devils. It is often exaggerated that bad performance is tantamount to a group of lads picked off the street and plonked onto that pitch. Today, if that were literally true, they would have been better than what was shown today. It was a new low and a low that stunk of that Everton away game in 2018/19.
But when you are dreading to go onto the pitch knowing that there is nothing to fight for and the atmosphere that swirls around the stadium and training ground is of the sombre toxicity variety, it will show in your legs. They are paid handsomely but unfortunately, that amount of money doesn’t mean these players won’t succumb to the same things every human does. The United players are clearly lacking in fitness to undertake any tactical instruction, even if they are to sit in a deep block but again, when the lay of the land is scorched as it is, your legs get that bit heavier. Brighton looked as spritely on their feet as the United players looked dead on their feet. They are dying on their knees at the moment begging for the sweet embrace of the final whistle to blow at Selhurst Park in a fortnight’s time. By the time the next season starts, it will be imperative that a whole raft of players leave and a lot come in to replace them, whether it be youth or new recruitment. A freshness is needed because this blanket of negativity hangs on this club like a curtain on the back of a dachshund.
Telles Less, Show More
Even with his confidence at the highest, Telles remains an utterly poor player however. Let us not get anything twisted in regards with that Brazilian left back. The fact that United paid £12 million, a non factor in this day and age, and will still feel robbed shows how remarkably rank he is as a player. Shaw’s form this season sunk to the levels he had shown prior to 2020/21. Shaw right now, the one recovering from having bolts removed from his leg, is better than Telles. It is hard to put into words how truly poor he is but I will try my best to scour my mind.
Brighton gravitated to his side as soon as they saw that he was in the mood to drop a performance that was a very nasty variant. March and Gross were a jolly up on that side. Playing 1-2s around each other and former Porto player resembled one of those stationary training men. He moves at the pace of one of them. Defensively, he is everything you don’t want to see and less. If I were to deep dive into every aspect, it would sound like Stephen A Smith describing Kwame Brown in that notorious monologue. He has no idea how to defend space, how to defend against space, knowledge of his whereabouts in relation to his defenders and midfielders. His contribution to the first goal, a shocking defensive header, would usually surmise a terrible performance well but it was actually that bad, it couldn’t even do that.
He is just there to occasionally show he can cross. But he can only cross from deep because he has no moves or ingenuity to fashion yards in order to get closer to the by line. He offers overlaps at a pace that snails would sneer at. His contribution to build up is every piece of junk as all the other parts of his game. Watching him at takes you to a point of making you wonder how such a man is paid to play professionally. I never thought I’d see a player as bad as Andreas Pereira for Man Utd but Alex Telles showed how wrong I truly was. A departure for him would be a well needed reprieve for Man Utd and for myself.