Rating the Manchester United player apologies out of 10
"Believe me, something will be done about that."
Scott McTominay could hardly stand still for more than two seconds as he faced the camera - albeit for Manchester United's in-house TV channel, MUTV - and tried to talk his way through his club's most abject performance in years.
The Scotland international is a Lancaster lad and has been in the United system from the age of six. The club are part of his DNA and he was clearly rattled, and angry, after being part of a 6-1 thumping at the hands of Tottenham.
"The pressure at this football club is to play at the highest level, every single week, is big," said McTominay. "If you want to take that responsibility on and play at the highest level, then you have to show that when you're on the pitch."
Olé Gunnar Solskjaer called the heavy defeat his worst moment as a United boss or player. As for the current players, they had a decision to make after such a rank humiliation - to post to social media or not.
Following the club's second league defeat in three games, Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Fred chose to keep their counsel. Others opted to offer apologies and vow to do better.
Here is how we rated the post-match efforts from the six United players brave enough to engage with their followers.
David De Gea - 5
We feel exactly like you. No excuses. Sorry pic.twitter.com/NRaUCDpcjX
— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) October 4, 2020
Get in, get out. Picture meant to speak more than words but pretty flat, all the same.
Harry Maguire - 4
'Today was totally unacceptable, we apologise to the fans, you deserve so much more. There’s no excuses. One thing for sure is that we will do everything we can to put this right. We’re all hurting but this is the start of a long season with everything to play for. We must stick together.'
Another picture selected to reflect personal angst at the situation. Wisely opted not to reflect on personal errors. The 'everything to play for' line already rings hollow for the 16th place club. Attempt to rally support by appealing for unity.
Bruno Fernandes - 6
'Represent this big football club as we did today is not enough! We apologise with all the fans for this big loss at our home! Time to bow our head, reflect and do much more for us, the club and fans!'
Plenty of humility here and the 'bow our head' line hits home. Could do without the exclamation marks though.
Marcus Rashford - 8
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) October 4, 2020
Reflective of Rashford's growing status as someone that wants to engage with his audience and not speak through a filter. Acknowledges how posts on social media can often be perceived as empty, but the 'no hiding' line will have hit home with many. Shame there was not as much fire and energy in his performance.
Scott McTominay - 9
Not so much an apology and more of an explanation into the post-match mind-set. One can see how stung McTominay is by the heavy loss.
"Difficult. So difficult to take," the United midfielder told MUTV after the game.
"And the atmosphere in the dressing room... not easy (to take) at all. The pressure at this football club is to play at the highest level, every single week, is big. If you want to take that responsibility on and play at the highest level, then you have to show that when you're on the pitch.
"Every single minute that you're on the pitch, every single second. When you're training, you train like it's your very last training session. For us, the goals we conceded today were nowhere near good enough, from what I saw [from the sidelines] and from what I seen when I was playing. Difficult to take."
"Every single person in that dressing room is very, very hurt," McTominay added. "We know that it's not about speaking to other people and listening to what they say. It's about focusing on ourselves because this football club is absolutely massive. And for us to perform like that, and play like that, is nowhere near good enough. And, believe me, something will be done about that."
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 4, 2020
Donny van de Beek - 6
'Painful loss for us yesterday. We will learn from it, and work hard to come back stronger'
Short and to the point. Only came on late in the piece and not many would have been demanding excuses from the newly signed Dutch international. That he still opted to address his followers after playing a mere cameo in that disaster says a lot for the former Ajax man.