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Erik ten Hag’s team selection against Tottenham showed he has not learned his lessons from last season

by Ayantan Chowdhury

After what transpired during the 90 minutes against Wolves, fans must have expected Manchester United to improve against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

Instead, what occurred was pretty much the same as the hosts ran out 2-0 winners to inflict the first loss of Erik ten Hag’s second campaign.

Almost all the forward players disappointed at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but the manager deserves criticism for not learning a single thing from last season and the start of the current one.

Disappointing midfield selection again

The Wolves game was evidence enough that a midfield trio of Mason Mount, Bruno Fernandes, and Casemiro do not work but he still persisted with the same.

The former Chelsea star has been really poor since his arrival and has not improved the team’s midfield one bit. He ran around a lot with very little influence on proceedings.

Ten Hag’s thinking behind bringing Mount to Old Trafford still does not look clear and while there is plenty of time to correct things, the start has been as inauspicious as it comes.

There were calls to play either Christian Eriksen or Scott McTominay alongside the Brazilian to calm things down, especially considering this was an away tie.

United’s poor away form against the big sides under the Dutch manager has been well-documented and it required a much more calm approach on Saturday but it seems Ten Hag has simply not learned his lessons.

Judging by the first two games, United should not wait before bringing in Sofyan Amrabat as Arsenal are sure to rip this non-existent midfield to shreds come September.

That was not the only strange selection blunder that the Dutchman did in North London. Alejandro Garnacho had struggled against Wolves and Jadon Sancho must have been hoping for a start against the team he scored against last season.

Strange selection call up front

However, the Argentine started again and was ineffectual while Marcus Rashford continues to disappoint up front on his own.

What was the point in practicing with Sancho as the false nine if the manager does not play him there, especially when Rashford has admitted that he struggles up front and would much rather play down the left?

Just like his first season, question marks will once again be raised against Ten Hag, his transfer policy and his team selection. The start has already been similar with a disjointed approach.

Last time around, the Red Devils responded against Liverpool. They need something special again this time around to really kick-start the new season.

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