Former Manchester United midfield pair Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves have slammed Erik ten Hag for his game management during United’s game against Real Sociedad in the Europa League.
United emerged 1-0 victors, courtesy of an Alejandro Garnacho goal in the first half, but that was not enough as the club failed to finish top of the group.
At times, the game became chaotic as United lost control, especially in the second half.
Ten Hag’s substitutions failed to have any impact as Sociedad got more of a foothold in the game.
This did not go down well with United legend Scholes, who criticised Ten Hag for what he branded as “messy” tactics that failed to have their desired effect.
Scholes said on BT Sport, “I think it got a little bit messy in that second half. I’m not too sure what was trying to be achieved there. I think it started with the Lindelof substitution. United in the first half were in complete control.”
“He puts Casemiro into the back four or back three – whatever it ended up as. Marcus Rashford then came in for Van de Beek as a number 10. It’s not Marcus’ position. Marcus needs to be on the shoulder of people, he needs to be out wide.”
“I’m all for that – it can work – but [in the] second half, I just thought that after being in complete control in the first half, I think it just became a mess.”
Scholes also took issue with the United manager’s decision to deploy Harry Maguire as a striker with Cristiano Ronaldo.
He argued that this reduced the team to only trying to ping crosses into the box in their search for a second goal that would have propelled them to the top of the group standings.
Hargreaves fully agreed with Scholes’ assessment.
Hargreaves pointed out that while Ten Hag showed bravery in his tactics, overall those changes cost his side an extra goal as it meant nothing was being created from open play.