Man Utd takeover: Glazers excuse branded 'nonsense' as two stars struck in scathing rant 6 days ago

The Man Utd takeover saga rumbles on

Manchester United can't use the club's takeover uncertainty as an excuse for their dreadful start to the season, according to Garth Crooks. United's long-winding ownership saga is one of a selection of off-field problems that have added to the negative feeling around Old Trafford.

For the first time since 1989, the Red Devils have lost three of their opening five Premier League games this season.

And Erik ten Hag's side were tactically, technically and physically outclassed as Brighton and Hove Albion romped to a 3-1 win at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The hosts couldn't handle Brighton's efficiency in possession, looking like a team with three of their starting back four absent from the starting line-up.

Ahead of the defence, Casemiro's sloppy display was no surprise just three days after playing 90 minutes in Peru, and Scott McTominay was as ineffective in a red shirt as fans have grown used to seeing.

But Crooks aimed criticism at United's centre-backs, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof, who were both poor after being considered doubts prior to the game.

"I don't think I've seen defending by a Manchester United side like that for years," Crooks wrote for BBC Sport.

Man Utd takeover: Lisandro Martinez was poor against Brighton. (Image: Getty)

"Victor Lindelof looked unrecognisable from the player I saw in last season's FA Cup semi-final, and don't even get me started on Lisandro Martinez.

"However, this was an impressive victory at Old Trafford by Brighton, who ran all over United in a similar way to how Wolves did earlier in the season - except they didn't get the result.

"Pascal Gross was the standout player and seems to have filled the gaps left by Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo with remarkable ease."

Crooks also insisted that players can't use United's ongoing takeover saga as an excuse amid theories that it may be a severe distraction on and off the pitch.

Man Utd takeover: The Glazers haven't yet decided. (Image: Getty)

He added: "Any attempt to try to attach blame for United's poor recent performances on the Glazers' lack of ability to sell the club is utter nonsense.

"Whatever boardroom activities are taking place has nothing to do with a professional footballer once they cross the white line."

United may be staring three successive defeats in the face ahead of Wednesday's daunting trip to one of the Champions League favourites, Bayern Munich.

Saturday's Premier League visit to Burnley will prove a more telling indicator of whether Ten Hag's side simply still struggle in big games or if they are, in fact, in a crisis.

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