After The Whistle : Watford 3–1 Manchester United

“It (the victory) will give us the confidence to keep working on everything we’ve been doing up to now. It means that my work that we do every day in training is giving its worth now on the pitch.”
 — Walter Mazzarri

What a difference a week makes. Just before the international break Manchester United fans were buzzing and excited for the new season. Their team looked like it could only get better and they were still reveling in that stoppage time winner by rising superstar Marcus Rashford, against a very resilient Hull side who made life very difficult for Mourinho’s men for 90mins.

The stage was all set up for the “biggest game of the season” and every United fan had every reason to be Optimistic. But it wasn’t to be, after a poor showing in the first half Manchester City were making their rivals look like a shadow of what they had been so far this season. And despite an improved second half performance, it was not enough to overcome Pep Guardiola’s ever improving side. Tough, but there was a feeling among United fans that on that day, they got a couple of things wrong and they could look forward to a better showing in the Europa League.

Mourinho made several changes to his side during their midweek tie which saw United fell to a shocking defeat away to Feyenoord. They lost in Holland last season to PSV, invoking memories of what turned out to be a dark chapter for United after the loss was compounded by Luke Shaw’s season ending injury. Coming into the game at Vicarage Road, United desperately needed a response, nothing short of an emphatic win will do to settle the mummers of frustration emanating from Old Trafford. For Walter Mazzarri and his men, they were looking to build upon their impressive comeback victory against West Ham.

Watford earned a huge win over United

A 1st half Capoue goal in the 34th minute left United shellshocked. They found themselves chasing the game and throughout the half, were second best to the Hornets. It took United until the 2nd half to begin to influence the game. They were rewarded for their sustained spell of possession and incessant attack when Marcus Rashford bundled the ball in for United’s equaliser in the 62nd minute. Substitute Juan Camilo Zuniga, on loan from Mazzarri’s former side Napoli, came on in the 82nd minute to cut short whatever hope the away fans had of a comeback. With his 2nd touch of the ball, he slotted the ball into De Gea’s net after receiving a pass from Pereyra in United’s 6yard box. Vicarage Road erupted into celebration as Watford took the lead for the second time in the game. The supersub was at it again, this time winning a penalty under Fellaini’s clumsy challenge from which Deeney converted to secure Watford’s 1st win over United in three decades.

After defeats to Arguably the favourites to win the league, and an unexpected loss to Feyenoord, the champions of Holland, this came as a massive blow to the United manager and United fans. If they were not worried before, they would surely be concerned now. The last time Mourinho lost three in a row was his spell at Porto. The manager could not hide his disappointment and neither could his players and their fans. After starting so well this season, things have taken an ugly turn at Old Trafford.

4 games, 0 goals, 0 assists. These are trying times for the French Midfielder

The world most expensive player has come under the most criticism. After an impressive second debut, the flamboyant Frenchman has been pedestrian too often in games and has not imposed himself on games as much as is expected of him. Rooney continues to fail to justify his unshakeable status as a starter in the team. Very little penetration as far as a number ten is concerned saw Ibrahimovic having to drop deep to get involved in play. There has not been any significant link up between the two frontmen apart from Ibrahimovic’s first goal against Southampton. The question remains where is Rooney’s best position now?

Anthony Martial has had a very disappointing start to the season and it got worse for the Frenchman. After clashing heads with Daryl Janmaat, he was soon controversially bundled over in the build up to Watford’s first goal. He was then unable to continue and was subsequently substituted. Marcus Rashford started on the flanks and put himself about. He continues to be United’s bright spark and seems to produce anytime he actually plays. It would be difficult for Mourinho to ignore him now especially considering the number of players letting the team down at the moment.

It is still early in the season to draw concrete conclusions yet, but there is still a lot of work to be done by Mourinho and his players It is looking more and more like this group of players may still need some time to develop the chemistry required to dominate and win games.

Take nothing away from Watford they had fantastic game. The combination of Ighalo and Deeney seems to have been kicked back to life and new signing Roberto Pereyra already looks like a gem. He was impressive all afternoon, linking up very well with his fellow midfielders and the forwards to great effect. Capoue continues to defy all the odds, scoring his fourth goal in five games this season. He had previously only managed one goal in three seasons. Ighalo should have scored staring into a gaping net, and Deeney was an outstanding leader.

This win will surely give one manager and his team a lot of confidence going into gameweek 6, while the other would be itching to get his team back on the training field to sort out their issues.