Erik ten Hag reveals reason behind benching Cristiano Rolando for Manchester United vs Brighton
A new season, the same old Manchester United. United started their new campaign under new manager Erik ten Hag in the worst possible way. They lost 1-2 at home to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Ten Hag has given the reason why his team lost the game. Speaking after the game (h/t Independent), ten Hag blamed the players for lacking belief.
I think it was a good start, then after we dropped down a level, dropped down in belief, made mistakes and the opponent finishes. I can understand [losing belief] after last year but it’s not necessary. They are good players, self-belief is from yourself. They are [good players] as they proved so many times in the past and will again in the future.
He may not be wrong as the team was far from good today. They lacked an attacking threat and the midfield was not to a standard that should start for a club like Manchester United.
Cristiano Ronaldo was benched as the Dutchman chose to start Christian Eriksen as a false nine. But that experiment failed and he bought on Ronaldo at the start of the second half. Anthony Martial, who was in fine form during the pre-season missed the game due to a hamstring injury.
If [Martial] was available, the striker, I would’ve played him. Cristiano is now 10 days in team training. That’s too short for 90 minutes. That’s the reason we didn’t start him.
Scot McTominay and Fred started in the middle of the park and were below par. The team lacked an attacking threat as the midfielders kept losing the ball. New signing Lisandro Martinez started at the back with captain Harry Maguire.
Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford were nowhere near their pre-season form, with Bruno Fernandes being one of the better players for United. Tyrell Malacia also made his debut with Donny van de Beek also coming on from the bench.
Overall, the team simply lacked the attacking threat. Brighton were able to split the United defence with ease and find a spare man in the box. Some would say that the Seagulls deserved their victory over a lacklustre United side.
More Manchester United News
- Harry Redknapp: Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong prefers Chelsea transfer
- Gary Neville feels the Manchester United hierarchy have let down Erik ten Hag in the transfer window
- Diogo Dalot sets his Manchester United targets for the 2022/23 campaign
Fans will hope that the manager is able to implement his tactics more properly in the next game. This was ten Hag’s first match in the Premier League and he will have made some notes. He will hope for a better performance when United travel to face Brentford next Saturday.