Monday night saw Manchester United lose for the second consecutive game in their 3-0 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
Despite it arguably being United’s best performance of the season thus far, it was evident that former player Gary Neville was far from pleased with the lack of structure from Jose Mourinho’s side.
The Red Devils began the game with an intensity and spirit we haven’t seen this season, but capitulated in the second-half, conceding three.
Neville pointed out, despite the intensity “there was such disorganisation at times that they were always going to get beat once the game settled down. Even though there was a lot of spirit in the performance, there was no structure."
Absence of structure
"You don’t know where Pogba is going to be or where Fred is going to be," he went on. "Ander Herrera is centre-back and Lingard is also over the pitch. There’s only a couple of players where you know where they are going to be.”
The former United right-back also pointed out that even though there was high energy to this United side in the opening half hour of the game, it emanated desperation and they seemed frantic to try and win the game, something which evidently didn’t work.
It was far from a vintage Mourinho performance, as we normally associate the Portuguese’s sides with composure and structure. It felt positive that Mourinho was prepared to try something different in such a big game at the start of the season, but it is one that the United team clearly need more than a week to work on.
Defensive errors cost United the game
Ander Herrera starting at the right of a back three was an odd choice, but his football intelligence is such that he could play there in games against the top six and it pay off.
However, he wasn’t the problem in this game. The thing that let United down was once again defensive errors that led to Tottenham’s second and third goals. Once they went in, although the hosts still tried to stay in the game, the intensity and high energy of the first half was lost and therefore so was the game.
Neville said of the mistakes; “Defensive errors put trepidation through the whole team. When you concede goals at Old Trafford, it’s a big old stadium and you lose confidence and belief. It’s destroying the spirit of the team when they concede such bad goals.”