VERDICT: United make same mistakes again at start of new season
Three trophies were placed on the field at Old Trafford, but they were intended for individual awards rather than stadium museum valuables. This Manchester United don’t look like a team in need of silver polishing anytime soon.
No context or complaint about the joyless video assistant referee can mask the state of regression in which United are already mired. They have stood still since securing the Champions League lucre at the end of July and are already at risk of not staying in the competition next season.
United can’t pin this on the pedantry of referee Martin Atkinson or the robotic nature of modern football. It was about the questionable choices of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the complacent players and the painstaking negotiators. Ed Woodward was present, captured apparently smiling with Palace in front of him. Even a mask cannot hide a close examination of Woodward’s body language, especially when there has been only one signature. Donny van de Beek scored but did not start.
The club that had chosen the right winger position as their priority in this transfer window started the season without signing a right winger and the starting right winger was replaced. Ironically, the last right-winger to sign United skipped the opponents and ended the fight victorious.
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