Donny van de Beek bemoaned Manchester United’s ponderous play after falling to a “really bad” home defeat to Crystal Palace on his debut.
The 23-year-old midfielder arrived from Ajax for a fee rising to £40million at the start of the month and made an immediate impression by coming off the bench to score on his first appearance.
But Van de Beek will not look back on his debut fondly as Palace deservedly won 3-1 at Old Trafford, where Andros Townsend’s early goal was complemented by a second half Wilfried Zaha brace.
The performance highlighted the need for improvements, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer calling for introspection after his players fell “short” of expectations on Saturday evening.
“My first match for the club and then you want to win,” Van de Beek said. “It doesn’t matter how you want to win.
“I’m really disappointed that we lose 3-1 at home. I think it’s really bad.
“Yeah (we did not have as much match sharpness as Palace) but last week in training we did really well.
“We trained good, so my feeling was really positive. But, yeah, today we played too slowly.
“We went too long with the ball and I think against an opponent like Crystal Palace you need to speed up the game to create something. That was not good enough.”
Not only was Van de Beek candid in his assessment but the Holland international clearly took no consolation in netting on his debut,
“To play for all the fans in stadiums like this it’s more nice to score,” he said.
“But still I scored but we lose and this is the most important thing, that we win.
“We lose but it’s always really nice to play for a club like this.
“I made my first game and I hope to help the team and next time that we win, for sure.”
United have precious little time to recover as a trip to Championship outfit Luton awaits in the Carabao Cup third round on Tuesday before next weekend’s Premier League match at Brighton.
“I mean, next week we need to step up and we need to win,” Van de Beek told MUTV. “Also for our feeling, we need to step up now.”
Palace bowed out of the Carabao Cup on penalties at Bournemouth during the week, but Roy Hodgson’s men will not mind having started a top-flight season with back-to-back wins for the first time in the club’s history.
Former United player Zaha was the star at Old Trafford, netting twice as he skippered his boyhood club in a competitive match for the first time.
“Being captain for the side today, especially at Old Trafford, I’m buzzing we managed to get the three points,” the 29-year-old said.
“I feel like we’ve got so much quality in the team, we just need to put it on the pitch.
Talk is cheap 🤭 All praise to the most high only pic.twitter.com/8PszGK50QU
— Wilfried Zaha (@wilfriedzaha) September 19, 2020
“Before the game, I was telling the team: ‘Believe in yourselves – don’t be scared to play your game.’
“Obviously today we showed it and I’m not surprised by the two games we managed to win.”
Zaha, who continues to be linked with a summer exit, added: “Obviously we know what they can do but we wanted to impose ourselves on the game.
“We’ve got so much pace and attacking threat in the team. We just wanted to utilise it from the beginning.”