United are poised to sign free agent striker Edinson Cavani and Porto left-back Alex Telles on Monday before the 11pm deadline, and retain hope in landing Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho despite the prospect of a British-record transfer growing increasingly unlikely.
But their imminent transfer business, which adds to the £35m addition of Donny van de Beek, will not cover up the glaring issues United have in defence that were brutally exposed by a clinical Spurs side, who recovered from going 1-0 down inside two minutes to put six unanswered goals past a helpless David De Gea.
“It’s a horrible feeling, the worst day I’ve had as a Manchester United manager and player,” said Solskjaer. “I’ve been part of big defeats before and we’ve bounced back so we’ve just got to let the boys go away on international duty, find their mojo themselves and the others that are going to stay here, we’ve got to help them. After a result like this you need to clear your mind and head and look forward.
“If it’s a different shape, mentality, I don’t know, but it will be different. We can’t accept performances like this. I hold my hands up, I’m in charge and I’m responsible for this.”
United’s defending was shambolic throughout the match, with their efforts not helped by Anthony Martial’s first-half dismissal for grappling with Erik Lamela. Following Bruno Fernandes’s second-minute penalty, goals from Tanguy Ndombele and Son Heung-min quickly flipped the scoreline on its head, with Martial’s exit followed by Harry Kane’s first goal and a second for Son. The 4-1 half-time deficit quickly grew as Serge Aurier scored Spurs’s fifth, before Kane rounded out the misery.
“Sometimes you make mistakes, that’s part of life and we made too many mistakes in one game of football and that shows in the result against a very good football team,” Solskjaer added.
“They are a team full of quality and we got punished almost every time we made a mistake.
“You don’t win games of football making individual mistakes, making a performance like that.
“When we get the start we did, you think, ‘Yeah, we’ve got the game where we want it’ and then you make bad decisions.
“It’s nowhere near good enough. I hold my hands up. It’s my decision to pick the team I did. Also as a squad, that’s not good enough for Manchester United.”