Geyse Mary Earps Ella Toone Man Utd Women splitGetty

Mary Earps exit rumours, 'Skinner Out' chants and a fading WSL title challenge: Things could get worse for Man Utd before they get better

Seven months ago, Manchester United were the only team to take Chelsea to the final day in the Women’s Super League’s 2022-23 title race. They were excellent throughout the season, they were consistent and, in the end, they were beaten to the trophy by just two points. Why, then, are they seemingly out of the 2023-24 title race before we’ve even got to Christmas?

If you were a United fan and had tickets for both of the club’s clashes with Liverpool on Sunday, one in the WSL and one in the Premier League, you might’ve opted for the former if you wanted to see a positive result. That the Red Devils' men fared better at Anfield than the women did at Leigh Sports Village was certainly a surprise, Marc Skinner’s side falling to a 2-1 defeat before Erik ten Hag’s men held out for a goalless draw.

“I don’t think we outperformed Liverpool or deserved anything from the game,” said Skinner after the loss, delivering a damning statement which was fitting because of how damaging the result was. With leaders Chelsea beating Bristol City later that afternoon, United are now seven points off the pace already. They’ve won just five of their 10 league games this season.

Chants of ‘Skinner Out’ from a section of the crowd followed the final whistle on Sunday, showing that discontent is growing rapidly. With stars such as Mary Earps and Leah Galton entering the final six months of their contracts, it’s not just on the pitch that the fanbase has concerns, either. The optimism last season brought has almost completely vanished- so what on earth has happened?

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