After the disappointing exit of Manchester United from the knockout phase of the Champions League against Sevilla, the atmosphere at Old Trafford was one of quiet contemplation.
How had things gone so horribly wrong so quickly?
Manchester United had been dominating the field for the majority of the match only to be undone by two successive goals from the Super Sub – Wissam Ben Yedder.
Among the voices that were clamoring for a change after the game, as is the norm after every disappointing result, was one that belonged to team legend Paul Scholes, who came down hard on the lackluster performance of midfielder – Alexis Sanchez.
Scholes questioned Jose Mourinho’s decision to shift Marcus Rashford to the left of the field in order to accommodate the Chilean. Speaking after the match Scholes was quick to express his displeasure as he believes that he [Alexis Sanchez] is the weakest link in the entire chain and in order to field the best front four, United need to leave Sanchez on the bench right now.
"Alexis Sanchez has to be left out!" – Manchester United legend Paul Scholes goes in on Chilean after latest poor display in shock defeat to Sevilla https://t.co/YFkXKJfxrl #MUFC pic.twitter.com/qj4LBR9IHw
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) March 13, 2018
“Rashford was frightening on that left side on Saturday, but he moved him to bring Sanchez into what he thinks is his best position,” the former United midfielder said. “[Sanchez] gave the ball away so often and his manager has to see that in the 10 games he has played, he has not been good.” “He needs to choose his best front three and be brave enough to leave one out,” Scholes said. “At the moment, Sanchez is the one to leave out.”
Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean star came to Old Trafford from Arsenal after he was swapped with Henrikh Mkhitaryan leaving us to rejoice at our unbelievable luck that Sanchez had decided to move to the red half of Manchester despite his close relation with Guardiola. Alexis Sanchez who seemed to have been fed up with the stagnant situation at the Emirates was indeed desperate for a change after seeing a move to City break down on the summer deadline day.
At that time me and almost every other United supporter believed that with the addition of another strong midfielder the triumvirate of Manchester United attacking line could finally be strengthened enough to be able to lift the Premier League trophy for the first time since the days of Sir Alex.
The heart of the midfield which had already got a serious power upgrade after the addition of Matic from Chelsea seemed finally like a potent world class team,however the backline of the United defense turned out to be the biggest disappointment continues to crumble under pressure letting the ball in and with the defensive positioning that now makes Sir Alex rethink his retirement.
The Sevilla fixture was supposed to be a sure win for the side that won 2-1 against Liverpool earlier in the week after a superb show from young poacher Marcus Rashford. Mourinho started the match with Sanchez in the left and Rashford in the right with Lukaku being the indomitable center forward.
Sanchez was active early on in the game and presented Lukaku, Rashford, and Valencia with well set up scoring options. It was like he was playing with the game designed tailored made for him, he looked comfortable in his position and winning a yellow card against Sevilla, and yet the crowd is now relentlessly baying for his blood.
Why is that? Why are two greats of United and of the game [Ferdinand and Scholes] focusing their ire on the new transfer from Arsenal?
“When you go to a team to play you don’t lose all your talent. In some ways, I feel sorry for him but it’s just not going for him.” “Sanchez, for one, he just looks a shadow of the player he was. When he was at Arsenal, he was the player everyone looked to for inspiration. He just looks like a stranger now.
This was Another legend Rio Ferdinand speaking after the game.
What is absent in their critique, however, is their displeasure against the manager for playing Rashford in the right wing, when he had played out of his mind against Liverpool on the left wing.
"He looks a shadow of the player he was, he looks a stranger in this team…"
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 13, 2018
Where was the anger against the manager for omitting the talented and in form Scott McTominay and for playing Fellaini and Lingard for the majority of the match time?
The manager is known for playing favorites with his players, but it used to be that those players were great and could achieve results on the field, with United, however, it seems like he is only looking at out of form players who are dragging the team down. Dead Weights.
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) March 13, 2018
The Manchester United defense crumbled against attacks from Sevilla, with no more than two Sevilla players coming into the box against five players in red and managing to score which was followed by a cross that was not covered by any of the five red players inside the penalty box.
How these are the faults of a right winger, as Paul Scholes seems to think, I do not understand. What is clear is that the manager needs to have a really good look in the mirror and start delivering the magic that this team can produce. The fans can only wait for so long.