Alan Shearer has ripped into under-fire manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, claiming that Manchester United players have lost respect for him after their 4-1 loss to Watford on Saturday.
The Red Devils were blown away by lowly Watford thanks to two goals in each half by the Hornets, in a result which has Norwegian boss Solskjaer on the brink of the sack.
United goalkeeper David de Gea branded his side’s display as ’embarrassing’ and claimed ‘we don’t know what to do with the ball’ – a statement which Shearer highlighted as to how bad things have got at Old Trafford.
Alan Shearer claims Manchester United’s stars have lost respect for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left)
Solskjaer is on the brink of the sack following Manchester United’s 4-1 loss away to Watford
‘It’s quite clear from their attitude and their performance that the players don’t want the manager,’ Shearer told Match of the Day on Saturday. ‘They’ve stopped running for the manager. They’ve lost respect for the manager.
‘And when you have a player coming out and saying they didn’t know what to do with the ball, then that does lie and the manager’s feet because that’s no plan or no tactics.
‘But the players can go out, they can run around, they can have their fun and they can have attitude – but there had none of that. So that tells you what they think of the manager.’
The result means Solskjaer’s United have failed to win five out of their last seven Premier League matches, a run which includes a humiliating 5-0 home loss to Liverpool in October alongside a 2-0 humbling by rivals Manchester City this month.
United dropped down to seventh place in the top-flight table – 12 points behind leaders Chelsea after 12 games – and could move further down the league should Tottenham and Everton pick up victories on Sunday.
The Red Devils lost to a Watford side who had been beaten in four out of their last five matches – with the Hornets failing to find the net in any of those losses – but ran into a quick-fire 2-0 lead through goals from Joshua King and Ismaila Sarr.
Half-time substitute Donny van de Beek halved the deficit just minutes after the half-time break but United’s job was made harder when Harry Maguire was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Watford ran riot in stoppage time thanks to goals from substitute Joao Pedro and striker Emmanuel Dennis to put the finishing touches on a memorable Vicarage Road win.
United were well beaten by a lowly Watford side who had lost four out of their last five games
United goalkeeper De Gea, who saved a first-half penalty from Sarr to limit the humiliation, was full of negative adjectives for the Red Devils’ performance such as ‘very poor’, ‘low level’ and ‘nightmare after nightmare’.
‘It was embarrassing to see Man United play like we did,’ said De Gea. ‘It’s not acceptable, the way we were playing and doing things.
‘It’s easy to blame the manager or the staff but sometimes it’s the players. We need to show much more than we are doing. Embarrassing first half – we could have conceded four goals in 45 minutes.
‘It was hard to watch the team playing today – it was nightmare after nightmare after nightmare. It’s not acceptable.
David de Gea ripped into Man United’s stars for an ’embarrassing’ display away at Watford
‘I have been in difficult moments with this club but we are in a difficult situation – we don’t know what to do with the ball. It’s a horrible moment. We are trying to give our best and fight for the team but for sure something is very wrong. You can see in the games – it’s very low level, very poor. Sorry to the fans, once again.
‘There are difficult moments and we have to be strong in mind and body. We are paid to play for United and to do better than that. This is not Manchester United or the way we ought to play – it’s difficult to say more than that.’
Jamie Carragher, meanwhile, claimed that there is now way back for under-fire boss Solskjaer following the result – but also took aim at some of the ‘disgraceful’ performances from United’s players.
‘I’ve not been a manager, but if you’ve got a crop of those players – and I don’t care what anyone tells me, Manchester United have got quality players – you can’t lose to Watford 4-1. You can’t,’ he said on Sky Sports.
Jamie Carragher said United players ought to be ashamed of their performances this season
‘No matter how the manager has set you up, whether he has a presence in the dressing room, whether the players respect him or not, who knows?
‘However he sets them up, those players: some of the performances they’ve given this season are an absolute disgrace. That is one of the most expensive squads in world football. One of the highest paid squads in world football.’
Solskjaer, meanwhile, refused to discuss the prospect of him being sacked after the Watford loss but hinted at some sort of communication with the Red Devils hierarchy.
‘I’m working for and with the club and I’ve done that for 18 years,’ Solskjaer said in his post-match interview. ‘We’ve got a good communication and if the club were thinking about doing something then that is between me and the club.’