The inquest is underway following Manchester United’s shock 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday night.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side blew the chance to return to the top of the table after Oliver Burke’s 74th minute goal condemned them to their first Premier League loss since November 1.
While no United players particularly impressed, striker Anthony Martial bore the brunt of the post-match criticism, with Rio Ferdinand laying into the Frenchman on BT Sport and accusing him of laziness.
He said: “Martial had an off night. He ambles back. I want to see a reaction of him sprinting back. Jogging. In yesteryear that doesn’t happen.”
A clip that went viral on Reddit appeared to sum up Ferdinand’s issues during a passage of play in the second-half following United’s equaliser.
In the 67th minute, Martial is in possession deep in Sheffield United’s half, but plays a misplaced pass which is intercepted by Blades defender Ethan Ampadu.
Ampadu then bursts out on a dribble from the back, but rather than attempting to win the ball back Martial stands motionless before breaking into a slow jog.
Ampadu is allowed to progress completely on his own through the centre of the pitch, and it requires Bruno Fernandes to sprint back and eventually dispossess his opponent near the edge of the United box.
A number of United fans commented on the clip praising Fernandes for his work-rate while criticising Martial for his apparent lack of effort.
One said: “It’s hard for Bruno to have a good game when the striker doesn’t move,” and another added “time for Martial to be moved on and a real striker to be brought in.”
United supporters will be hoping the loss is just a bump in the road, and they will be desperate to bounce back when they take on in-form Arsenal on Saturday.
It remains to be seen if Martial is included in the starting line-up, with fellow striker Edinson Cavani chomping at the bit to replace him.