Another defeat on the road and against a team below means that this United team is the worst in PL history after 18 games. Two individual mistakes from De Gea and Wan Bissaka allowed Sarr and Deeney to consign Man Utd to a defeat.
It was supposed to be all behind the Spaniard once he had clarity over his career and signed a bumper contract that secured his services to perhaps the end of his best playing days. Yet there was mistake last week vs Everton, something mitigated a bit by the fact that it should have been called as a foul on him. The mistake this week vs the Hornets is pretty unforgivable. There were signs coming in the first half, as the ball dropped to a Watford player in the box after De Gea was bumped with Cathcart’s head. Luckily, the referee called for a foul, which easily could have gone the other way. The tame shot from Sarr should have not gone in, yet De Gea managed to let it go through his hands, hitting him on the head just to add the comedy of the goal. It is not just the recent mistakes that are frustrating but rather the holes in his game, detrimentally affecting us. His lack of kicking ability is astounding, especially when he kicks balls flat into midfield to an opposition player. The diminishing command of his box, an issue he had sorted for a while, is absolutely pathetic at the best of times. Chances to come and claim the ball, taking the pressure off the defenders to head away difficult balls is non-existent and is a big contributor to why we look so frail from set pieces. With Dean Henderson putting in performances that have him in many plaudits team of the seasons, it may not just be the Spanish gloves De Gea will be fighting for
Flaming Potato Passes
Poor possession is pretty much a hallmark of any United performance but today was one for the hall of shame as time and time again, the Red Devils continually gave back the ball to Watford. It was literally Christmas come early for all of the Watford players as they probably couldn’t believe how easily that McTominay, Lingard and Wan Bissaka in particular gave back the ball. They deserve singling out but the whole team was at it the whole game. By the end, even Fred and Maguire who started off capably on the ball, were awry with their passing accuracy. There is no way a team can even begin to imagine to break down teams willing to give up possession when you can even hold onto it yourself. It bordered on embarrassing the amount of times the ball was given away in simple situations, let alone when we finally made it into the final third. It’s an issue of playing personnel and coaching quality, every week growing all the more concerning as it scarily seems to descend, even if you think it was not possible the week before.
Strength in will and body
Maybe the Watford selection offered enough juxtaposition to show us that while the lack of technical quality is as bad as it has been but there is a lack of might in both, the ability to turn bad situations around and in matching up to power physically, is not there at all. Doucoure, Capoue and Hughes bullied the Man Utd midfield with their harrying and even worse, showed better composure on the ball than their counterparts. The reintroduction of Pogba may solve both issues but while McTominay and Fred have been decent in recent weeks, what we saw there is the reason why you cannot hang your hat on them to do anything of salt in a Man Utd shirt. If they cannot handle the press by carrying or passing out of it, the next thing is to stop the opposition play and they couldn’t even do that. It screams of a midfield signing and I hope the board will be able to provide it