The Manchester derby defeat should be a seminal moment for two United players.
This should be the last we see of Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard in a United shirt. They will soon be out of chances.
We knew what we were going to get from Jones. And the only surprise was that it was not him scoring the own goal for City’s third.
It would be harsh to pin the blame solely on Jones for United’s defeat, but he didn’t help either. Sometimes just his presence is enough to transmit panic across the backline.
Seeing his name puts the crowd on edge, and gives the opposition a lift. David de Gea must be sick by now of seeing him at centre-back in front of his goal.
Its just time for United to move on. And with a bit of luck, this would be the last time we see Jones line up at centre-back at Old Trafford.
Unfortunately, United are out of luck. Harry Maguire, Marcos Rojo, Axel Tuanzebe and Eric Bailly are all working their way back from injuries.
All four being out is a freak set of circumstances, which led to Jones starting last night’s semi-final.
Maguire is now out for ‘an extended period’, Mail Online report, with a torn hip muscle.
Jones will probably start this weekend against Norwich, and we might get away with it.
Against Wolves we will not, and the prospect of him lining up away at Liverpool in just over a week’s time is terrifying. We can’t be that unlucky, surely.
One of our injured centre-backs has to return, don’t they?
Jones might have a job to do at times between now and May out of desperation on United’s part, but nobody at the club believes he should be part of the club’s future.
This summer it should be time up, and he needs to be sold, for his own sake as much as the club’s.
Lingard out of chances
Jesse Lingard is a favourite of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but even he cannot defend his performance last night.
Tactically it was the wrong choice to play him, and he was totally ineffective.
United starting Lingard sends the wrong message, that complete and abject failure is being tolerated at the club.
Lingard has no Premier League goals or assists in over a year and Solskjaer’s sole reason to praise him recently has been his work rate. That’s not enough.
This season he has played in 27 games for United. And with each and every match he seems to get worse.
It is no longer a form issue, it’s a matter of talent, or lack of it. Lingard is not good enough.
He has become a laughing stock, a punchline, and the joke is on United.
The position he plays in is crucial to United’s system, and he is killing United on a weekly basis.
His half-time substitution put him out of his misery last night and it is time for Solskjaer to be ruthless and leave him out of matchday squads.
Discarding Lingard opens up chances to Angel Gomes, and forces United into the transfer market.
United have no reason to be sentimental. And Lingard’s time at Old Trafford should be up. The situation is that serious that if Solskjaer sticks by Lingard, it could cost him his job.
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