Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag explained his reasons for his failure to start Casemiro in the heart of his side’s midfield for the Manchester derby.
The Dutch manager once again opted for Scott McTominay as the deepest-lying midfielder – a choice that backfired spectacularly.
The Scotland international was overwhelmed by City’s far superior midfield despite it lacking the presence of Rodri.
Ten Hag came under criticism after the drubbing for his reluctance to either start the Brazilian or even make a substitution early into the game in an effort to reverse his team’s fortunes.
The United manager said on this and why he hasn’t been starting the former Real Madrid man, “On the day we signed him, we started to win and it’s about the team.”
“The team is doing really well, it’s not against Casemiro, it’s for, in this case, Scott McTominay, he performed great in the team and then we get into a run.”
“But I’m sure it will be important for us in the long and short-term, he will find himself in the team but it has to come in a natural way.”
After the Red Devils’ disastrous showing at the Etihad, it would beat logic for Ten Hag to again start McTominay over the far more experienced, tested and proven Casemiro against Everton in United’s next Premier League game.
The 52-year-old has a choice to make on whether the £60m man starts in the Europa League against Omonia Nicosia or whether he preserves him for Sunday’s trip to Goodison Park.
The player certainly has it within himself to dislodge McTominay and cement his place in the starting eleven.
The 30-year-old played both of Brazil’s friendlies in the international break against Ghana and Tunisia in France, where his dominant side was on full display – something that was missing in yesterday’s woeful performance.
While it was common knowledge that Casemiro ousting McTominay was only a matter of time, it appears that this may have come sooner than anticipated.