How United's nightmare week threatens to get worse

Manchester United's players are showing a lack of heart, desire and ability to wear the shirt which represents so much.

Manchester United must win on Saturday against Burnley, otherwise the slump that they are on threatens to turn into a crisis.

After last night’s humiliating 4-0 annihiliation by MK Dons serious questions must be asked of the desire of United’s squad to turn things around.

Although many of the players who played in the tie against the League One side will play no part in the Premier League proceedings there still is a responsibility to perform in a United shirt that they are not fulfilling.

The club have a proud history and the way that many of their players performed last night did not do justice to a football club who were an unstoppable force in English football not long ago.

United’s team last night was made of fringe-players and youngsters, but nobody on that pitch should be excused from what was an embarrassing defeat.

Louis Van Gaal’s side still contained six international players, but the likes of Michael Keane and Nick Powell have both impressed at levels higher than what MK Dons play at previously and they should not be excused despite their age.

This was not just an upset, it was a signal of just how far United have fallen.

MK Dons were only formed in 2004 and this is, without question, the most humbling defeat that United have faced in that time.

Van Gaal will have to deal with most of the criticism, but the players representing them have nowhere to hide anymore.

David Moyes may not have had the credentials to manage at a club like United, but Van Gaal has and it is the players turn to step up now.

At the moment they are bringing shame on a side who were once the envy of English football. If this continues they are in danger of becoming the laughing stock of it.

Although the club are only three games into the new season, few improvements have been made on last campaign’s displays - in-fact so far, they have appeared to regress over the summer. 

Much hope has been pinned on the fact that that the club have acquired Angel Di Maria recently, but the thought that one individual, however talented, can arrest this slide is naïve at best.

United have enough quality in their squad to be performing better than they are – the bulk of this team won the Premier League title in 2013 - and after £200 million of investment there needs to be a demand for success.

Already the club has lost its intimidation factor. Previously teams went to Old Trafford fearing a humiliation, now they go there looking to seize an opportunity.

Every side that faces United, regardless of what division they are in, believes they have a genuine chance against them because of the Red Devils consistent failings to step-up since Sir Alex Ferguson's departure. 

The history that means they can attract Di Maria despite this slide is the same thing that provides an incentive to opposition teams to raise their game against them.

Just last season Stoke had waited 20 years to finally beat them in the league, whilst West Brom hadn’t won at Old Trafford in 36 and Swansea had never achieve the feat.

They all made history, though, and more records are threatening to be broken if United continue to underwhelm.

They face newly promoted Burnley at the weekend and they must match their desire and passion to win.

Every side will raise their performances level against United, but it time that the Red Devils started to step up to ensure that mid-table mediocrity doesn’t simply become the norm.

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