Erik ten Hag failed to do his research if he feels Scott McTominay and Fred are good enough to start in midfield for Manchester United this season.
This is according to sports writer Sam Pilger, who made this assessment on his Twitter feed during half-time of United’s opening day defeat to Brighton on Sunday.
Erik ten Hag really did not do his research if he thought Fred and Scott McTominay were good enough to be his midfield #MUFC
— Sam Pilger (@sampilger) August 7, 2022
The duo endured a wretched afternoon at Old Trafford as the Brighton midfield overpowered, out-thought and out-fought ‘McFred‘ from start to finish.
Neither McTominay nor Fred finished the game on Sunday, with Fred the first player to be hooked just after half-time.
McTominay was lucky not to be sent off before he was brought off. He was guilty of a particularly high tackle after a clumsy passage of play and was fortunate to escape harsher punishment. He ended up seeing only a yellow.
The pair’s ability while starting games together in the middle of the park for United has been a cause for concern for United fans for a couple of seasons now.
Playing one or the other with a more natural holder brought some success in certain games but when played together, the two have just not been good enough for a considerable amount of time.
United were sliced open in the centre of the park time and time again last season and the story was the same on Sunday.
In fairness to Ten Hag, this is the position he highlighted as the one most in need of surgery at the club. However, he is yet to see any reinforcements come through the door.
The tedious ongoing pursuit of Frenkie de Jong isn’t any closer to reaching a conclusion and United are now left scrambling in a window that was absolutely key to helping the new manager build his squad and culture at the club.
The curious transfer of Adrien Rabiot looks to be close but on Sunday’s showing, ten Hag is going to need a lot more than that before he can think about closing the gap to the top four – let alone the top two.
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