Manchester United's three worst players in shambolic Newcastle defeat

Manchester United are in disarray right now and this was epitomised by the shambolic defeat to Newcastle United. At least it is now an international break, we have a breather from the pain for a couple of weeks.

The Red Devils’ horror season shows no sign of improving, we are now two points above the relegation zone and 15 points off league leaders Liverpool, who are our next opponents at Old Trafford.

There may be injuries, but the fact of the matter is we are simply not good enough right now and it is becoming increasingly glaring how much of a rebuild job Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has got on his hands.

Here are three players who were passengers at St James Park.


Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

What must James Garner be thinking? After a disappointing performance against AZ Alkmaar, Fred was given another chance to impress by Solskjaer away to Newcastle.

The Brazilian’s confidence looks shot and it’s difficult to see where the central midfielder goes from here, how many more chances is he going to get?

Fred’s poor performance reached a new low in the 81st minute, after receiving a pass from Andreas Pereira, Fred couldn’t sort his feet out and he ended up embarrassingly bundling the ball out for a Newcastle throw in.

The former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder can look tidy in possession, but as soon as he is put under any form of pressure, he panics and often makes the wrong decision, putting United on the back foot.

The 26-year-old hasn’t been able to adapt his game to the frantic pace, tempo and physicality of the Premier League.

Marcus Rashford

Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

United’s striker looked disinterested throughout the match and his ability to lead the team from the front is becoming increasingly alarming with every passing week.

Rashford had a measly 9 touches in the first half, none of those were in Newcastle’s penalty area, he spent most of the match on the floor after the likes of Lascelles and Schar showed their physical supremacy by bullying the 21-year-old.

The introduction of Mason Greenwood offered a slight glimpse of upturn in Rashford’s performance, but for a man who is meant to be the spearhead of Solskjaer’s new look attack, the decision to sell Romelu Lukaku right now looks a poor one.

It was Lukaku who came off the bench last season to open the scoring at St James Park with a poachers effort, it doesn’t look like that Rashford currently possesses that killer trait.

Rashford is playing in a side that has next to no creativity, but he needs to work very hard behind the scenes if he wants to become the complete forward.

Juan Mata

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

United’s little Spaniard is struggling to impose himself on matches and currently looks a shadow of his former self, Solskjaer has given his more experienced players the nod over the clubs youngsters in this difficult period, especially in the Premier League, but maybe it’s time for that to change.

Mata still has the capability to influence matches, but it would make sense to start Angel Gomes in these type of games and bring Mata on if necessary, Gomes is the clubs future after all.

Despite being given a new contract, the 31-year-old doesn’t have the pace, power and dribbling ability that Solskjaer is slowly trying to create within United’s attack.

Mata is benefiting from injuries right now, but once everyone is fit and available, it is difficult to see the former Chelsea man getting much game time.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.