Erik ten Hag justifies reason for not subbing in Alejandro Garnacho in Manchester United’s first away victory of the season
Despite United fans appearing to be asking for his introduction by screaming his name halfway through the second half. Garnacho was not deployed as a substitute in United’s 1-0 victory at Turf Moor on Saturday night.
Erik ten Hag commented on his decisive decision, saying that the Argentine winger already put in a shift against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League 4-3 loss earlier this week (Manchester Evening News) :
“He (Garnacho) was in against Munich and I thought our team was playing very well. So I wouldn’t change that tonight because this game was a demand to keep that organisation. That’s why I wouldn’t change.
I saw the players were still capable and the fitness levels were good and the energy was still there, it was only 1-0. I wouldn’t change that because I also know that Burnley in one moment and in this moment where everything is against us – we have seen again a disallowed goal.
“I don’t want to say if it is the right decision or wrong decision, but again there was a moment that was not on our side. I wanted to avoid that and keep this team on because they did well.”
The 19-year-old has only made one start this season, in the team’s victory over Wolves. Roberto Garnacho, his younger brother, deleted a tweet in which he included a laughing emoji that seemed to allude to his sibling’s unutilized status.
We have seen how influential Garnacho has been after coming off the bench. His disallowed goal against Arsenal was a beautifully orchestrated one. His run through that Arsenal defence was commendable which could have changed the result of that game.
Garnacho has struggled to make an impact in 2023–24 despite having a breakthrough season the previous year. Given that Jadon Sancho and Antony Sancho are currently out from first-team action, it is difficult to understand how and why Alejandro’s playing time has been so restricted.
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Now, with confidence gained with this away victory, United can once again utilise Garnacho and help the team score more goals. He is still a teenager and he must understand that there will be chances for him here, especially with Antony and Sancho’s precarious situation.