JUST when you thought things couldn’t get any worse at Manchester United, they do.
As if last season’s fall from being reigning champions to Premier League also-rans wasn’t bad enough, humiliation at the hands of MK Dons in Tuesday night’s Capital One League Cup represents a new low.
This is a club from which great things are expected following nearly two decades of success both at home and in Europe.
Dutch master Louis van Gaal was supposed to be the man to bring those days back to Old Trafford following the failed tenure of David Moyes.
The veteran may yet do that but so far it has not been a good start.
Regardless of how many first-team players did not feature at Stadium:mk, there was enough talent in the United ranks to avoid a 4-0 pasting at the hands of a team in League One. Three of them played at the World Cup.
Had this taken place 12 months ago under Moyes, it would have been shrugged off as a blip while the team found their feet under a new manager.
That excuse can’t be used any more.
United were so far off the pace last season that Van Gaal doesn’t have the luxury of time to mould a side while risking further embarrassment.
Having a philosophy, which seems to revolve around the in-vogue 3-5-2 formation, is all well and good but it’s little use if the players don’t get it and the results are poor.
United are in need of a quick fix — hence the £60million acquisition of attacking midfielder Angel di Maria and £16m for defender Marcos Rojo — and the long-term rebuilding process may have to wait.