Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's decision to make Harry Maguire club captain is one of the many things that cost him the Man Utd job
It is not even necessary to cast your mind far back as the aforementioned duo of defeats, Saturday's showing at Vicarage Road represented all things rotten at United.
A lack of defensive quality and intelligence lead to newly-promoted Watford 's opening two goals, ensuring United went in at the interval with work to do.
Donny van de Beek 's close-range header was the perfect response, momentum swinging in United's favour as many expected them to do what they have done so many times down the years – spark a revival, clutch something from the jaws of defeat.
Yet, despite the wishes of the both the Old Trafford hierarchy and faithful, this is not the Man Utd of old.
Familiar faces dominate the club, from Sir Alex Ferguson in the crowd, to a former player as manager and even someone United fans first met in 2003 leading the line – but the club is currently a world away from its former glories.
Instead of the kind of comeback we would have seen from United squads of yesteryear, momentum was scuppered by the recklessness of their captain.
Already on a yellow card, Maguire scythed down Tom Cleverley – another United throwback, to receive his second booking of the day and leave his side playing a man down with 20 minutes to play and at least one more goal still left to score.
To cap it off, after flippantly tossing his armband to a teammate, he was then greeted with a high-five from his manager.
That brief exchange alone seemed to embody all that is wrong with a club best known for winning league titles who now occupy eighth spot in the table.
Obviously, those at the top of the United food-chain have already removed Solskjaer from the equation – but action must be taken on Maguire also.
His performances for England at Euro 2020 indicate there is a more than capable central defender in there, as have some purple patches for United.
Harry Maguire was sent off for his clumsy challenge on Tom Cleverly at a crucial stage of the game
(Image: Getty Images)
Ultimately, it is his role as captain that has become as untenable as the managerial role had for Solskjaer.
Recently dubbed a "disgrace" for his "embarrassing" performances by club legend Roy Keane, Maguire's £80m move to Manchester has failed to live up to his astronomical price-tag.
Yet to lift any form of silverware as United captain, Maguire has shown little evidence of bucking that trend anytime soon.
Whoever does eventually take the reins on a permanent basis should think long and hard over whether Maguire is the 'go-between' they want linking players and management.