Home » Erik ten Hag blames his offensive and defensive stars once more for his side’s woeful displays

Erik ten Hag blames his offensive and defensive stars once more for his side’s woeful displays

by Derick Kinoti

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has torn into his side’s players in the attacking and defensive departments respectively for their failure to effectively do their jobs.

United have so far had a shaky start to the season. Despite claiming two wins from their three Premier League clashes so far, performances have not been convincing.

The Red Devils were lucky to clinch all three points against Wolves. They were firmly beaten by Tottenham Hotspur before recently coming from two goals down to manage a 3-2 comeback victory against Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford.

After the Wolves and Tottenham games, most fans and the media especially pointed out United’s imbalance in the midfield as the primary reason for their below-par performances.

However, Ten Hag shielded the midfielders from blame and instead pointed an accusing finger at his defenders and attackers for not doing the jobs properly.

Ahead of United’s clash vs. Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday, the Dutchman has once again weighed in on the debate.

He told reporters, “That is one of the reasons why I was not pleased with it [performances] because the front and back didn’t do their jobs. We got stretched and we have to improve that. We have to be more compact otherwise you can never counter-press.”

“I had the problem with how the defence moved and I had a problem with the responding in the defence transition of our offensive players.”

He explained, “It is definitely attitude. [You improve attitude] by being demanding and matching standards. That is what I demand. Last year they showed they can do it in almost every game and I expect it even more. We can’t make compromises because then you become vulnerable and you don’t win games.”

Ten Hag also confirmed that Rasmus Hojlund is available for selection and could play a part against the Gunners.

He hailed Hojlund’s impact in training so far and indicated that the Dane has already lifted spirits within the club.

As per Ten Hag, the former Atalanta man can provide incredible energy, which his teammates can also draw from for extra motivation.

The United boss however warned that like any other player adapting to a new environment, Hojlund must be given time and patience must be exercised.

“We expect a lot from Højlund but he needs time to settle into the team and the way we play. The rest will come – I’m very confident of that. He is brave and that’s enough. He has belief and the rest will come.”

“In the training sessions, he [Højlund] confirms the impression we had from him when we scouted him. And also, same as I said about Altay [Bayindir], we really intensely scouted him.”

On his side’s ambitions this term, the United gaffer insisted that they are currently not concerned about being branded as title challengers.

The main aim is to win as many games as possible and trophies will then follow.

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