Well it wasn’t the best of Manchester United performances to say the least. Having enjoyed a fine end to 2019 that saw them pull off impressive wins against Tottenham and Manchester City, and successive victories over Newcastle and Burnley to mark the culmination of the calendar year, the Red Devils looked nothing like their recent selves against Arsenal.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side looked toothless in attack with just four shots on target, whilst defensively, they were caught out time and time again. The first half in particular saw them get run ragged, with the Gunners scoring twice and in truth unlucky not to have scored more. And one man who certainly didn’t enjoy the night, was Luke Shaw.
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The left-back returned to the starting line-up in place of Brandon Williams, and he didn’t vindicate his manager’s faith. As per Sofascore, he received a match rating of 6.4, and when looking at his stats, it is easy to see why. The England international was dribbled past three times as he was given the runaround by Nicolas Pepe, whilst he also failed to complete any crosses or long balls despite attempting two and six respectively.
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And after seeing his performance, United fans flooded to Twitter to voice their frustrations with the defender.
Shaw and lingard a disgrace to the shirt
— Mufc face value tickets (@Mufc_facevalue) 1 January 2020
How many chances is Lingard going to get, awful. Shaw back to being a liability. From one match to the next just don’t know which team it’s going to turn up. #MUFC
— James McDermott (@jimbofmcd) 1 January 2020
Shaw can’t defend; offers nada going forward.
Lingard an absolute waste of space.
Who do we turn to for creativity/to change the game… enter Pereira.
Ole: “Football is easy when you have great players.” #mufc
— Project MUST (@ProjectMUST) 1 January 2020
A few fans insisted that now is the time for Williams to permanently take over left-back duties from Shaw, expressing that they couldn’t quite believe how the latter is still in Solskjaer’s first-team.
Is Axel injured?
If not he needs to come in for Lindelof and Rojo or Bailly when he’s back needs to come in for Maguire.
Williams needs to come in for Shaw too, but that goes without saying.#MUFC
— AxAs (@AxAs23) 1 January 2020
How luke shaw is starting over Brandon Williams is beyond me really is.
— jamie mufc gretton (@gretton123) 1 January 2020
It won’t be Shaw he’s a waste of space! Brandon Williams all the way! He’s clearly miles ahead of Shaw and we all can see it apart from Ole
— Daniel Hart (@DannyBoyDean) 1 January 2020
Send Shaw back too U23 , Bring William’s Up#mufc
— Lysander (@lysander_bock) 1 January 2020
A couple of fans also appeared to question Shaw’s fitness levels, with one supporter in particular claiming that he appears to be getting in worse shape despite playing more.
In other news, if anything Shaw is getting in worse shape the longer his run of games goes on…. #MUFC
— Colm Healy (@ColmSeanHealy) 1 January 2020
Luke Shaw doesn’t even need mentioning, I don’t know how a single united fan could or would ever say he should be at the club. Lads clearly overweight and average. Why ole picked him I don’t know. #mufc
— Bradley (@MUFCBradleyP) 1 January 2020
In a less than stellar night for United, Shaw’s performance was particularly disappointing. And with Williams firmly knocking on the door, there really isn’t any room for error with the level display he can afford to put in. Otherwise, Solskjaer may just have to place his faith in the club’s academy product over the short-term as well as the long-term.