View from the terraces

Humiliation at Anfield: is this the worst Man Utd team for 30 years?

Gary Neville calls his former side a ‘waste of space’ after 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool

“Embarrassing, disappointing, maybe even humiliating.” That was how Ralf Rangnick described Manchester United’s 4-0 loss to bitter rivals Liverpool. 

Jürgen Klopp’s title challengers tore United apart, with goals from Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah (two) and Sadio Mane sending the Anfield club to the top of the Premier League table, at least for 24 hours as Manchester City play Brighton tonight. 

Interim boss Rangnick was left “clearly unhappy” by his team’s display, said The Guardian. And the German was critical as he compared United’s current situation with Liverpool’s. “We have to accept they are six years ahead of us now,” he said. “When Jürgen Klopp came [in October 2015] they changed at the club and lifted not just the team but the club and city to a new level. That is what needs to happen with us in the next transfer windows.”

The heavy defeat leaves United in sixth place in the table and has dented their Champions League qualification hopes. 

‘Most of them are jokes’

On yet another “historically bad day” for United, Liverpool “doomed the Red Devils to several new lows”, said Ryan Tolmich on Goal.com. Liverpool have completed the league double over their rivals this season, with a combined 9-0 scoreline. It’s the most United have “ever conceded to a single opponent over the course of a league campaign since inception of the current top flight in 1992”. 

It “wasn’t great” under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or Jose Mourinho, it was “pretty mediocre” under Louis van Gaal, and “frankly rather woeful” for almost a season under David Moyes, said Michael Hincks on Eurosport. “But this has to go down as the worst Manchester United side for 30 years, doesn’t it?” With just five games left, United have to pick up ten Premier League points, “or else – factually – it will be their worst season for three decades”.

Former United and England defender Gary Neville was equally scathing. Speaking on Sky Sports, he labelled the team as a “waste of space” and said the club’s demise has been “alarming”. He added: “What we’re watching right now is nothing. These Man Utd players want the season over so they can hide behind the new manager and blame the old. An excuses culture permeating the whole club. They’re in shape but they’re walking. The lot of them. Which one of them looks alert or like they’re going to press? At best it’s an amble. Most of them are jokes.”

Ten Hag faces a ‘brutal reality’ 

It’s been widely reported that Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag is set to take over as the permanent boss at United. His impending arrival “should be a cause for celebration”, said the BBC’s Phil McNulty. However, “instead, the overriding emotion when the Dutchman walks through Old Trafford’s doors will be sympathy”. Following the defeat at Anfield, the “brutal reality” of what Ten Hag is letting himself in for “can be illustrated by the fact he is inheriting a bigger, more problematic task” at United than Klopp did when he succeeded Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool in 2015.

In reaction to the shocking 4-0 loss, United fans “raged at their team” on social media and some even warned Ten Hag that he should not go anywhere near the job, the Daily Mail reported.

In commentary for Sky Sports, Neville said in his 42 years watching United “this is as bad as it gets”. He added: “Watched them through the 80s, I’ve never seen a group have a lack of appetite to play during my time watching the club.”

On YouTube, fans’ channel UnitedPeoplesTV said this team is “a total, complete and utter disgrace” and the “humiliation” against Liverpool at Anfield “is as low as it gets”. One supporter on Twitter went even further, said The Mail. They wrote: “Worst man united team in the history of the club.”

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