Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke has insisted that his old club were “painful to watch” in their 2-0 loss to Stoke City on Saturday.
It was a fourth consecutive defeat for the Red Devils in all competitions and after crashing out of the Champions League earlier this month, they are now risking their place in the top four in the Premier League.
Coupled with the pressure that was already building on Louis van Gaal, the Dutchman would have seen little to suggest that alarming dip in form is nearing its end.
Yorke, a pundit in the Sky Sports studio on Saturday, was disappointed with the overall performance from his former club and insisted that dropping Wayne Rooney to the bench was the wrong decision for this specific game.
“I have to say it was painful to watch Man United,” Yorke said. “I felt that it was a team lacking in confidence. No sparkle whatsoever in that team.
“I look at that bench to see if someone can come on apart from Wayne Rooney who can bring something, who adds something different to the team. They seem to be short in every department and Stoke took full advantage of us [United] this afternoon.
“Leaving out your talisman, your captain in the most difficult situation; someone with the experience, although his performances have not been the greatest, I just felt it went against him and he [Van Gaal] got it wrong again this afternoon.”
Rooney came off the bench at half time and made an immediate impact for his side as they looked as though they were a more dangerous threat after the interval.
However, it wasn’t enough to avoid another defeat and it remains to be seen how long Van Gaal is given to turn the situation around, or if the club hierarchy opt to replace him and try to make the most of their season with renewed focus and commitment.