Gary Neville had his say about Manchester United’s 2-1 loss to West Brom last night on Monday Night Football.
Instead of singling out any individuals for the loss, he placed an emphasis on how poorly United played in the ten minutes following the equaliser from Wayne Rooney, and I found myself nodding along to Neville.
United going a goal behind happens often enough for the fans to know that if the side can buck up their ideas and get an equaliser, that the onus would then be with us to go and score the winner. Under Sir Alex Ferguson, that never say die attitude was one of his greatest hallmarks. Players gave everything until the final whistle in a chase for the result.
The only time in the last eight years that United have equalised at Old Trafford and gone on to lose was the 3-2 loss against Blackburn in 2011.
But against West Brom, United never filled me with any confidence that a winner was on the cards.
As Neville pointed out, United typically go on a charge following an equaliser in a no holds barred ‘Attack, Attack, Attack’ that often culminates in a winner for United, but that attacking impetus didn’t seem to be there.
Instead, we sat deep and afforded West Brom space that they capitalised from. Instead of pushing on after the equaliser, United almost adopted a pragmatic approach that ultimately backfired.
Fergie’s time may be over but Fergie time has to continue. United’s greatest threat has always been that we could never be written off from any game because, more often than not, we found a goal at any cost. Without that fight at the end, it was a limp defeat to West Brom.
United’s players need to maintain the commitment they had under Ferguson because if we stop that inevitable feeling in the gut of our opposition that we are going to score, we will lose one of our biggest strengths as a team.