Manchester United lost their fourth Champions League group stage game, this time a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
Manager Erik ten Hag’s side finished fourth with only four points, their worst performance in Europe’s premier competition in 18 years. This means they failed to make the cut for the Europa League as well.
The Bundesliga champions did not even need to get out of first gear on the night, such was the insipid display on show from the hosts.
Midfield imbalance continues
A loud chorus of boos reverberated around Old Trafford as soon as the final whistle blew. The Dutch boss really does not look like he has any answers at the moment.
His continued usage of Scott McTominay in midfield has been questioned time and again. When the Scotsman does not score, he does little else.
The midfield shape remains a mystery with Bruno Fernandes often seen as the deepest midfielder while McTominay was often seen even ahead of Rasmus Hojlund.
He is focussing on results at this stage but he can surely see the issues while building from the back and while defending. Why he’s not changing it, only he will know.
The manager has spent a lot of money to bring in Antony, Sofyan Amrabat, and the Dane. None of the three look close to being of United standard.
Ten Hag will point to the fact that he was never asked to don multiple hats at Ajax but now here he is and he is failing to deliver.
Ange Postecoglou and Unai Emery have shown that even without injuries, it is possible to follow the same philosophy every game.
But without Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro, this team does not look like a unified bunch, forget playing three passes between them.
The manager will hang on till Sir Jim Ratcliffe comes in but it does not look like a turnaround is possible at this stage. From such a bright debut season, not many could have envisaged such a fall from grace.
In even worse news, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw might not make the Liverpool game after picking up injuries in the first half. Ten Hag will not sleep well.