Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was finally relieved of his duties as manager on Sunday, saturday's 4-1 defeat to Watford, which proved to be the final straw for the Norwegian, it appeared as if his team had almost completely stopped playing for him. It was the latest game in which a number of Manchester United stars failed to live up to their usual standards.
Which Manchester United players were most culpable for Solskjaer's dismissal?
Cristiano Ronaldo has continued to score at an incredible rate since rejoining Manchester United this summer - he has nine goals in 13 outings in all competitions.
However, it has become evident that Ronaldo is no longer a team player. Rather than that, he performs at the expense of the team. According to the Daily Mail, Cristiano is the Premier League's poorest presser and runs less in the Champions League than Wolfsburg's goalkeeper.
This has made it extremely tough for Manchester United to defend from the front and has probably contributed significantly to the club's poor defensive record.
For months, it has been perfectly evident that Paul Pogba has no desire to play for Manchester United. The Frenchman's current deal at Old Trafford ends at the end of the season, and he has expressed no interest in extending it.
Instead he will depart Manchester United on a Bosman deal for the second time in his career, with Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, and Juventus among the frontrunners to sign him. Pogba, in particular, has strolled about the pitch carefree this season.
This resulted in him being dropped by Solskjaer before suffering an injury that sidelined him till 2022. Manchester United's record signing did little to help in rescuing his manager.
Harry Maguire has been harshly criticized by fans and the media on occasion since he broke the transfer record for a defender when he joined Manchester United in 2019. In truth, his first two seasons under Solskjaer were very consistent, but this year has been a complete disaster.
Surprisingly, he has already committed nine blunders that have resulted in opposition goals in 2021-22. The majority of these came in the last month or so, along with the club's dismal run of play that finally resulted in Solskjaer's dismissal. Maguire was sent off at 2-1 in Watford's 4-1 thrashing after badly miscontrolling the ball and then colliding with Tom Cleverley.
Jadon Sancho's inclusion on the list is not entirely his fault, as Solskjaer's awful mishandling of his abilities has left the England international without a goal or assist in any of his Man United games thus far. Manchester United's year-long pursuit of Sancho bordered on obsession as they constantly bargained with Borussia Dortmund in an attempt to reduce the German club's asking price.
He would eventually sign for £73 million, but has made little impact. Yes, Sancho has some of the blame, but Solskjaer has not given him a chance in the squad, with minutes and starts here and there insufficient to establish a foothold at a new club. As a result, the player appears devoid of confidence, which he exuded throughout his time in Germany. And this is something that clearly reflects poorly on Ole.
Solskjaer felt obliged to ask Manchester United to spend £50 million on Aaron Wan-Bissaka following a pretty successful season with Crystal Palace. The teenage right-back had a good eye for a tackle and established a reputation as one of the league's best one-on-one defenders.
The issue is that, despite his famous reputation, Wan-Bissaka is a poor passer, and a team of Man United's stature will have the ball more times than not.
He has always been criticized for his offensive prowess, but in recent months, it has been his defensive efforts that have raised the most eyebrows.
The Englishman was shredded by Watford's attack in Saturday's defeat and contributed to the second goal conceded with an abysmal clearance header that went right to an opponent. His continued inclusion in Solskjaer's starting XI became a pain in the manager's neck.
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