Manchester United’s 0-4 thrashing at the hands of Brentford on Saturday was reminiscent of the malaise prevalent throughout the squad under Ralf Rangnick last season.
And based on the opening two games, nothing much seems to have changed with things even going from bad to worse.
The former interim boss could at least count on David de Gea to save his side’s blushes but Erik ten Hag is seeing that the goalkeeping slot is in need of some major improvements.
The Dutch manager had some scathing comments to make regarding his side’s lack of a fight and blamed the Spaniard for the first two goals that his team conceded.
He even alluded to his players having a hangover from the disastrous 2021-22 season. “We are as a team in a difficult process and you expect a different start. It seems like what happens in the past last season, we bring to this season. We have to change that quickly.
“(The first two goals were) Both individual mistakes, that is clear.”
Ten Hag’s pre-match instructions to his side was clear, they needed to stick to the plan and believe in themselves. But as soon as the first goal went in, one could sense the heads dropping and the rest of the match showed that in abundance.
“Difficult for me and a surprise. The team has to take the responsibility I asked them to play with belief and take responsibility, that is what they didn’t do and I feel sorry for the fans, we let them down.”
How United once again emerged second best is beyond understanding even for Ten Hag. Physically outfought for every ball, Brentford were by far the hungrier side.
“That is fair. It is not possible. That is when I talk about responsibility. Switch on from the first whistle and be ready for a battle,” Ten Hag commented.
The Dutch boss did try to change things in the beginning of the second half with three changes but in the end it mattered little. So woeful were United on the day, that if rules permitted, all eleven should have been taken off the pitch. And Ten Hag said something on similar lines.
“Mistakes are part of football, you have to keep going but you have especially act. It (three changes) was about bringing fresh ones. I could have changed all eight others as well.”
With only three incomings and till gaping holes in the squad, the Glazers have yet again let down another manager. For United fans, this phenomenon is nothing new but the former Ajax boss is learning this the hard way. They had sold him false promises and are letting him down as per usual.
So damning was the performance that Ten Hag even admitted that new players are clearly needed and he needs all the help he can get at this stage.
“We need new players and quality players. We will try and convince them to join.”
United Matchday Magazine – the online football programme
Panic stations already. A statement of intent needed. How will Ten Hag respond? The season must truly start on Saturday. Get your Brentford matchday mag now!
- Online football content like you’ve never seen before
- The mag gives you all the news, facts and features you NEED before every game
- Instantly delivered to your device with easy and secure online ordering
- Click Preview to see more or buy now for just £1.25/$1.50
- Limited time offer: SAVE 33% on a season pass – use discount code SEASON33 at checkout.