David de Gea sends message to Phil Jones after Wolves defeat

Manchester United were outplayed and beaten 1-0 by Wolves at Old Trafford last night.

There were not too many players to emerge from the game with any real credit. Raphael Varane was fairly good, and David de Gea did not do a lot wrong.

Phil Jones played his first game for a shade under two years but was as good as anyone in a red shirt, showing little signs of rustiness and defending on the front foot wherever he could.

De Gea and Jones are the only two players at the club who remain from Sir Alex Ferguson’s last title-winning squad in 2013 and the Spaniard praised the defender after the game.

At the time of writing, de Gea is the only United player who played last night to post anything online about the game.

Social media posts were a hot topic at United earlier in the season, with fans becoming increasingly frustrated with online apologies which were becoming more and more repetitive and insincere.

Now, United’s players are seemingly keeping quiet after a setback which was just the latest in a season which has not improved after the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

As well as de Gea, Luke Shaw and Ralf Rangnick have both praised Jones, who has had a nightmare run with injuries but got a start in the absence of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Jones’ performance was the only positive to come from last night’s disjointed performance and deserved defeat.

It was expected that Rangnick would implement a philosophy at Old Trafford but apart from the first half an hour of his maiden match against Crystal Palace, there has been no evidence.

United lack identity and togetherness, with Luke Shaw’s comments after the match particularly damning in terms of commitment and unity.

Jones will hope to keep his place in the side when United host Aston Villa in the FA Cup on Monday night, and on the evidence of last night’s display, he is one of the very few in the team who do.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.