When I tuned in to watch this game I had missed all the build up so had to work out the team by identifying the players on the pitch.

Firstly, I was amazed to see Chris “Bambi” Smalling. What had Daley Blind done to deserve losing his place and what on earth had Smalling done to deserve being selected?

As per usual, his one contribution in the first half was negative. He managed to jump for a ball that he should have left for De Gea. By doing so he caused the goalkeeper to fumble it straight to Ighalo who missed an open goal.

I then noticed Fellaini, who was OK, Rashford and Martial, who did very little although Rashford looked to cause problems with his runs down the wings.

Surprisingly, Herrera and Mata were left on the bench so there was no steel in midfield and little creativity up front.

When Ibrahimovic doesn’t score he appears to be an expensive luxury as he doesn’t bring much else to the game. There were a couple of half chances for him during the first half which, five years ago he may have taken. Unfortunately, the turn of speed required for these chances to be converted is no longer there.

Rooney didn’t do a lot wrong but, as he didn’t do a lot, this was hardly difficult. He is another expensive luxury that this team could well do without.

A difficult first half saw Watford score, thanks to Martial dithering in defence instead of clearing the ball. Whether or not he was fouled does not excuse his mistake. He then went off suffering from an injury picked up earlier in the half when he clashed heads with Janmaat.

Again, to my immense surprise and disappointment, Ashley Young came on to replace him. This is the best United have to offer? Anyway, at half time it was 1-0 to Watford.

In the second half Rooney achieved the near impossible. He was worse than in the first half and his consistent inclusion in the team is now becoming a joke. Not only is he the weakest link, but his selection prevents Pogba from playing in his favoured position.

United did manage an equaliser through Marcus Rashford who prodded the ball home because he stayed awake when all around him slept.

This seemed to breathe new life into United for a while but the quality is still missing. Mata came on for Valencia which did offer a little more creativity but they still huffed and puffed without really achieving much.

As is usually the case when one team is pressing but proving to be ineffective, the other team breaks away and scores and so it happened. Watford made it 2-1.

Shaw was then replaced by Memphis Depay in an act of complete desperation.

In the 94th minute, Fellaini made one of his trademark clumsy tackles in the area and Watford were awarded a penalty. Deeney made it 3-1 and Watford’s cake had been iced.

I couldn’t help wondering what the difference is between this team and that of Louis van Gaal when I saw Ahley Young, Wayne Rooney and Chris Smalling on the pitch. None of the three should be considered good enough for Manchester United.

As for the summer signings, Pogba is being played out of position, Mkhitaryan isn’t being played and, as said earlier, Irahimović is a passenger unless he is scoring goals. Only Eric Bailly is proving to be value for money at present.

The January transfer window can’t come soon enough. It is to be hoped that a couple of world class players can be brought in. Where have I heard that before?


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