Jamie Carragher questions Manchester United’s playing style under the manager Erik ten Hag amidst poor season start
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher questions the football philosophy deployed by Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag at the club. United have lost seven out of 14 games in all competitions this season.
Caragher used Emery and Postecoglou as examples of managers who managed to successfully introduce their style in a shorter time.
Ten Hag enjoyed his first season with the Red Devils as he achieved Champions League qualification by finishing third. The Dutchman guided United to the Carabao Cup win that ended the six-year trophy draught at the club.
Carragher told Super Sunday studio (h/t Sky Sports) that Ten Hag has failed to install any style of play. He said:
“He [Ten Hag] has been here for almost 18 months, we have seen Unai Emery come in at Aston Villa, we have seen [Ange] Postecoglou come in at Tottenham. We still don’t know what you are going to see with Manchester United. How do they play with the ball?”
United focused on fortifying their defence last season while relying on Marcus Rashford for most of the goals. The Red Devils kept the most clean sheets in the Premier League last season under the Dutchman’s guidance.
The United boss has spent around €450mil. to buy the players that fit the profile and style he wants to apply. The Old Trafford loyalists and many football pundits were expecting a far better season under the Dutchman compared to what has happened.
However, United have already conceded 23 goals out of 14 matches in all competitions this season. Ten Hag had limited senior team options due to an injury crisis and poor individual performances added to the misery.
On the other hand, the Red Devils have looked non-threatening in attack and creativity. Critics have targeted United captain Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, and many other star attackers for their poor forms.
United have looked vulnerable when they applied a more adventurous style of play as that left spaces in their backline. Furthermore, the Red Devils failed to create a substantial counter-attacking threat when they applied a more cautious style of play.
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Unfortunately, Carragher’s criticism is spot on, and the manager and the club should take it constructively. A change needs to occur at Old Trafford before the season becomes a complete failure.
Currently, Ten Hag has failed to implement any sort of cohesion or balance in the team to build successful momentum. Nevertheless, there is still time for things to change if the Dutchman can guide United to some consecutive victories.