The worst way to lose a football match is not just to be outclassed in terms of quality, it’s to be outdone for effort.

Manchester United were second best in both departments at the weekend in a 4-2 defeat to Leicester.

Leicester were sharper than United and managed 11 shots on target to the Red Devils’ six.

BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks believes the lack of a willingness to dig in was the team’s downfall.

Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Crooks said: “Manchester United’s star-studded team, on the other hand, just lacked grit.

“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a problem. It would take Sir Alex Ferguson with all his managerial prowess to get the best out of this group of superstars – and Solskjaer is no Ferguson.”

The accusation Crooks levels at United is that this is a disjointed team of superstars who do not know how to play together.

He suggests that Solskjaer is out of his depth and it would take a true managerial mastermind to get this team back on track.

 

How did it come to this?

It’s hard to disagree with Crooks’ assessment after watching United’s last three league games.

The team have just one point during this span and have stalled in sixth place.

Aside from the five goal blitz against Leeds on opening day, United have scored just 11 goals in the subsequent seven games.

That is an appalling return considering the attacking quality at the team’s disposal.

Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

United’s defence has gone down the pan too, with just one clean sheet all season.

To put the defence in context against our rivals, United have conceded 10 this season, which Chelsea and City have conceded just three each, and Liverpool five.

There are serious problems for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to fix, and if he can’t get them sorted quickly, then it might be down to another manager to try.

At present there is a growing sense that Solskjaer has hit a wall, and that he can take United no further.

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