After Manchester United’s shock defeat against Brighton, many critics slammed the side for their disastrous performance at the Amex Stadium. However, none of the players came in for as much criticism as Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof after the 3-2 defeat.
Both players put on woeful displays, and their individual mistakes led to direct goals for Brighton. Lindelof’s poor marking of Glen Murray gifted them the opener, while Bailly’s needless giveaway of a corner led to their second. The Ivorian then gave away a penalty in what was by far his worst game for United.
After the game, Sky Sports pundits Graeme Souness and Gary Neville hit out at United’s center-back pairing for their shocking display. Souness in particular took aim at Eric Bailly, claiming he didn’t know “if he was in New York or New Year”. Neville was also brutal about the defense, and didn’t spare Bailly either. He said:
“Every single United defender, they’re rash, they make tackles they don’t have to.
“It’s really poor from Bailly, it’s so poor. Jose will hate what he’s seeing. All of them [the defenders] dive in, every single one of them. He will be absolutely fuming.”
All of this criticism didn’t go well with Bailly and talking to Daily Mirror, he hit back both of them. He said:
“I always take criticism well when they are constructive, when they are there to help and I actually like criticism but in a positive way.
“But what Graeme Souness said was a little bit disrespectful because it became so personal and it’s not the sort of criticism that can help a young player improve and become a better player.”
Neville thinks that the duo of Bailly and Lindelof are not good enough to win the title, to which Bailly replied:
“As young players, we need support from these people. If we got more support from these people, that can help us. But negative comments all of the time doesn’t help the young players or the team.”
“But it’s one game. We cannot forget that. We shouldn’t just focus on the negative, build on the positive and starting with Tottenham on Monday.”
Bailly saw a good start to his United career, but now stands in a position where he needs to improve. Having initially impressed the Old Trafford faithful, with many hailing him as their best center-back since Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, his performance last week put doubts in their minds.
Lindelof had a shaky start to his United career last season, but was recently starting to earn some respect as well. However, the two of them now need to prove themselves once more.
Hopefully, the duo and the rest of United’s defensive unit can learn from the defeat and return to winning ways on Monday against Tottenham.