Ten Hag discovering the mess he has inherited at Man United

Perhaps Ralf Rangnick was proper, in any case.

Perhaps Manchester United does require soccer’s equal of “open-heart surgical procedure” to repair the glut of points at present afflicting England’s greatest membership.

That was the blunt evaluation supplied in April by Rangnick, United’s interim supervisor on the time, as he ready handy over the teaching reins to Erik ten Hag forward of this season.

And it is taken simply two painful Premier League video games for Ten Hag to grasp fairly the mess he has joined.

Underperforming and — in sure circumstances — unmotivated gamers. An imbalanced, poorly assembled squad. A faltering recruitment workforce unable to usher in its major targets. American house owners more and more loaded by the followers.

Ten Hag, in the meantime, is including to his personal issues with some questionable decision-making in his first weeks in English soccer.

“Garbage” was one of many phrases the Dutchman used to explain United’s abysmal efficiency in its 4-0 loss to Brentford on Saturday that marked a brand new low level within the membership’s latest historical past.

Moments after the ultimate whistle at Brentford Group Stadium, because the joyous dwelling followers celebrated certainly one of their workforce’s greatest ever outcomes, Ten Hag was seen standing immobile on the touchline, each arms behind his again, unable to imagine what had transpired.

Ten Hag did not flinch as a moody-looking Cristiano Ronaldo walked previous, or as he was serenaded with chants of “You are getting sacked within the morning” from Brentford supporters.

Sunday was presupposed to be a time off for United’s gamers however Ten Hag insisted they arrive in for coaching, with British broadcaster Sky Sports activities reporting that the supervisor needed to make his gamers run 13.8 kilometers, matching the distinction in complete distance the 2 groups ran throughout Saturday’s match.

These are nonetheless very early days within the Ten Hag period however the issues are mounting, a few of them of the Dutchman’s making.

Why, for instance, was Christian Eriksen — a midfield playmaker — deployed as a “false 9” within the 2-1 dwelling loss to Brighton on the opening weekend, then as a deep-lying midfielder towards Brentford?

Was Lisandro Martinez, a brief middle again in modern-day phrases, the wisest buy for practically $58 million contemplating the famend physicality of the Premier League? Uncovered towards Brentford, he did not make it out for the second half.

Why is Harry Maguire, clearly missing in self-confidence on the sphere, nonetheless United’s captain when he should not actually be assured of a beginning spot?

Then once more, Ten Hag hasn’t been helped by these above him. How has United gone into the brand new season with no new holding midfielder, a place the workforce has desperately wanted to improve for years? United seems to be more likely to miss out on Frenkie de Jong regardless of a summer-long pursuit of the Barcelona midfielder and nonetheless should depend on the underwhelming Fred and Scott McTominay.

Certainly, upgrades are wanted all around the workforce, particularly in assault with nonetheless nonetheless swirling round Ronaldowho pushed for a transfer away in the course of the offseason and — regardless of his famend goalscoring prowess — does not have the mobility to swimsuit a typical Ten Hag-managed workforce.

With Anthony Martial injured, Ronaldo is United’s solely out-and-out striker and performed the complete sport towards Brentford although he can not have been match-sharp. Tellingly, he left the sphere with out even Ten Hag.

Additionally notable Saturday have been a number of the banners held up by United supporters at Brentford calling for the departure of the Glazer household, the membership’s house owners. “Group 2 Go. Glazers Out” learn one, and the environment guarantees to be poisonous when United returns to Previous Trafford subsequent week for its third match of the season.

That’s on Monday towards fierce rival Liverpool, which scored 9 objectives towards United throughout two video games final season in humiliatingly one-sided conferences. The earlier season, a protest towards the Glazer household pressured the unprecedented postponement of the Premier League sport towards Liverpool at Previous Trafford after the stadium was stormed and hundreds extra supporters blocked entry into the venue as they demanded the People — consumers in 2005 in a leveraged takeover — promote the membership.

Lose to Liverpool and that might imply United opening the season with three straight defeats. The final Ajax coach to affix a Premier League workforce was Frank De Boer, who misplaced his first 4 matches accountable for Crystal Palace and was promptly fired after the workforce struggled to adapt to his ways and calls for.

The concern is that Ten Hag merely doesn’t have the gamers to suit his model. Or, like within the case of Martinez, he has the flawed participant in an important place.

Will United maintain its nerve if the dropping streak continues? Ten Hag certainly deserves a while however the early indicators are of a membership already in a disaster.


Extra AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Leave a Comment