Manchester United crashed to defeat in their opening fixture of the new Premier League season.
The 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford saw a disjointed and sluggish United side beaten convincingly. It was a huge disappointment, puncturing fans new-season optimism and putting pressure on the Reds to make signings in the final two weeks of the transfer window.
Our senior football writer Tyrone Marshall hosted a live Q&A webchat on Sunday afternoon, where he answered fans' questions about the status of the current squad and on what happen in the coming fortnight.
Q: With Dele Ali becoming available, do United hold an interest at all?
TM: No, it's not an area they're looking to strengthen in, with Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek in the squad. Alli has been linked with United previously, and Mourinho said in the Spurs documentary that Ferguson told him to sign him at Old Trafford, but he would make little sense now.
Q: If Spurs are actually interested in Lingard, it would surely make sense then as it would be one in and one out and an improvement. Also, how likely are we to bring in a centre back? As we seriously lack quality in this area.
TM: Spurs and Lingard is one that's developed today. Mourinho was a big fan of Lingard while he was here and values his game intelligence, so it's possible, but Spurs need to sell as well. As for a centre back, I'd say it's unlikely in this window, but definitely on the radar for the next 12 months at some point.
Q: We let Sanchez leave and brought Donny in. Arguably Dalot could leave and were linked with a left back. And we’ve been in talks with Dortmund for months for Sancho yet an actual bid has never arrived. You’ve also got the possibility of Lingard going to Spurs. It feels very much one in one out but we’re struggling to get rid of the players.
TM: I don't think this is the case with Sancho particularly, but it is an issue in defence, where United are already overloaded with centre backs. That's why a centre back in this window is unlikely. They need to sell at least two of Smalling, Rojo and Jones before signing anybody else in that area.
Q: Is the short pre-season and fitness really the main reason for yesterday's performance? I don't buy it.
TM: It's one of many reasons really. United were below-par yesterday, but they've had one week training together and only one pre-season friendly, which a low of the squad didn't feature in. Palace have played four friendlies, two competitive games and trained together for a month. That makes a considerable difference and it was always going to have an impact.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United made waves with the high-profile signing of Dutch wonder Donny van de Beek - and a lot is expected of him at Old Trafford.
With a new man to shine in the Norwegian's XI, you certainly won't want to miss a thing.
In a daily United bulletin from the MEN , we'll be bringing you the latest breaking news, analysis, transfer features and opinion, as well as the key talking points for fans, straight to your inbox - and of course, we'll cover everything that Van de Beek does in a United shirt.
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That's not all though...
If you consider yourself a dab hand at Fantasy Premier League, you can use van de Beek in your FPL team, possibly win £250, a new replica 20/21 football shirt of your choice, and the inaugural RFFL winner’s trophy as well as a certificate in our Reach Fantasy Football League.
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Q: Why are we using Covid as an excuse when even the relegation teams are spending more than us?
TM: I'm not sure it's being used an excuse not to spend, it's being used a reason not to spend £100million on one player, which no other club in Europe have done either. United want Sancho but don't think that fee is realistic in this economic slump. They would do a deal if that price comes down, you could see maybe £70m/80m up front, which would still be one of the biggest deals in this window.
Q: Having had six months after signing of Bruno which again took six months - and we all saw the difference he has made - why does it take Woodward to scramble around at the last minute? All despite his waffle about a 'Sporting Director'. The commercial value of Jordan Sancho would have a chunk of the fee paid back by now. We have been found out!
TM: I don't think Fernandes was every likely last summer, but a deal could have been earlier in January. The £47million they paid was good value, but the balance is what difference could he have made against City, Liverpool and Burnley earlier in January. That's a problem that is haunting United again this summer.
Q: I don't think that money is too much ...but United are safeguarding, they didn't want to make the same mistake that they made on Sanchez.
TM: Sancho and Sanchez are very different cases. Sanchez was ageing when he arrived at United and they were warned about his decline. Sancho is 20, is clearly only going in one direction. The issue is that United insist they won't pay £100m in this financial climate, and they believe Dortmund will need to sell so will compromise before October 5.
Q: Victor Lindelof must be out from the starting eleven and Baily played in that area.
TM: Lindelof had a poor game yesterday, but at the moment he seems to be ahead of Bailly in the order. Bailly has made mistakes himself since returning to fitness. There isn't an obvious solution in that position.
Q: Play Mengi often because he is going to be the best central defender, he only needs game time.
TM: I don't think throwing an 18-year-old in at centre back is the answer here. Solskjaer is a big fan of Mengi, but any involvement he gets this season will be in the cups.
Q: Maguire passes to Shaw and rather than running forward there are lots more backward passes, similar on the other flank. Midfield doesn't seem right - Pogba is not giving in 100% since arrival of bruno. Rashford and Martial not on the tails of defenders, rather coming to get the ball off midfielders. You hear Ole saying they have had good training sessions but are these the expectations.
TM: I think there's an issue with the full-backs and not getting enough from them in an attacking sense. Pogba is criticised for not giving 100% all the time, when in reality I don't think that's the case, he's always had a style that looks like he's going through the motions. As for Rashford and Martial, they are at their best playing on the tails of defenders, they were praised for in July.
Q: How patient do you think the board will be with OGS? My gut says this season will be his last. A finish out of the top 4 gets the sack?
TM: They've put a lot of faith in him, so I don't think they'll lose patience quickly. It depends on how the final three weeks of the window go, if United don't strengthen significantly when Solskjaer can't be judged on the same standards. I think he's in trouble if they don't get top four, but the next three weeks are crucial to define expectations.
Q: Why aren't United considering keeping Smalling? He is one of the better CBs we have. Unless selling him now means we can get another CB in now too.
TM: I think the concerns are that his passing isn't good enough for a team hoping to play out from the back. I'd certainly have him ahead of Jones and Rojo, but then I think all three could be sold really.