ten Hag slams 'naive' Man Utd after defeat to Brentford
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Erik ten Hag only arrived at Manchester United earlier this summer as a replacement for Ralf Rangnick. Like his predecessor, however, the Dutchman is struggling to get to grips with English football – with his side’s 4-0 defeat to Brentford on Saturday coming just days after they’d been beaten by Brighton at Old Trafford. Though the 52-year-old admittedly made some mistakes, however, it’s hard to pin the blame on him for the current crisis at the club. So Express Sport will now take a look at four reasons Ten Hag already has to walk away from the job.
Arguably all of United’s managers since Sir Alex Ferguson have had their reputations dented by managing the club.
David Moyes’ infamous 10-month stint backfired, with the Scot only rebuilding his career at West Ham in recent years following a difficult period with Real Sociedad.
Louis van Gaal was labelled past his best after his spell in charge, while the same was said about Jose Mourinho.
And though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer guided United to successive top-four finishes, the Norwegian was dubbed not tactically good enough prior to his sacking in November.
With United already in freefall, Ten Hag will have to perform a miracle to avoid similar things being said and written about him.
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Players seem uncoachable
Ten Hag also has to consider whether the United dressing room is right for both his style of football and his personality.
Because they do seem an uncoachable bunch at the moment, regardless of the talent they possess.
David De Gea isn’t the goalkeeper he used to be, Harry Maguire has been poor for too long, Bruno Fernandes has lost his magic and Cristiano Ronaldo, after so many years at the top, is beginning to look his age.
You can’t coach quick fixes from the quartet and many of their struggling and under-performing team-mates, too.
So Ten Hag would perhaps be wise to walk away before they end up costing him his job.
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Not enough backing
Ten Hag wanted United to splash the cash in order to reel in rivals such as Liverpool and Manchester City.
But despite Rangnick claiming they needed 10 new faces earlier in the year, the Red Devils have signed just three.
It simply isn’t good enough, especially when you consider how poor United were last term and the exodus that’s taken place in the time since – with Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard just some of the players to depart.
The Glazers simply seem unable to give Ten Hag the backing he wants.
So why bother trying to do a job when you haven’t been given the tools to succeed?
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Things could get worse
The more United toil, the worse things could get.
That seems unfathomable but with the Glazers’ shambolic rule now clear for all to see, protests are expected as the season goes on.
If Ten Hag quit United, and made it clear why the job is too big for him due to the owners’ reluctance to back him, many supporters would understand.
United have, in truth, been a club surrounded by toxicity for a number of years now.
And with their rivals considerably stronger after some impressive investment, this may just be the start of an even bigger decline.
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Ten Hag says sorry
Speaking after the defeat, meanwhile, Ten Hag apologised for his team’s performance.
“It is difficult for me,” he said. “It is always a surprise when you start a game like this.
“After 35 minutes we conceded four goals. This is not possible. The team has to take the responsibility, I feel really sorry for the fans who did everything to support us, we let them down.”
And he added: “They are good players, and have to take responsibility on the pitch, as a team and as individuals, and that’s what we didn’t do. I asked them to play with belief and take responsibility for their performance, and that’s what they didn’t do.
“It’s only when we stick together and work hard that we will overcome that. You have to take belief on to the pitch for yourself and the team.
“Don’t get me wrong, the manager is responsible as well, he has the main responsibility, and I take that. And I will work on that. I have to give them belief, but they have to give it by themselves.”
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