Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag used stats to defend the error-prone goalkeeper Andre Onana
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag defended the under-pressure goalkeeper Andre Onana by using stats as evidence. Onana made two howlers against Galatasaray, playing a crucial role in United’s loss of a two-goal advantage in the game.
United needed the victory to stand a better chance of qualifying for the knockout stage in the Champions League. However, the 3-3 draw against Galatasaray has put them in a peculiar situation with higher chances of elimination.
The Red Devils need to win their final Group A game against Bayern Munich at Old Trafford. Furthermore, they need FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray’s game to end in a stalemate to qualify for the knockout stage.
Onana took the spotlight for all the wrong reasons in the opening Champions League game against Bayern Munich. The 27-year-old made a very poor save during Leroy Sane’s opening goal in that game as Bayern eventually defeated United.
The Cameroon international made another critical error during the home game against Galatasaray with a poor pass. The pass led to a counter-attack from the Turkish club which eventually caused a sending-off for Casemiro. United lost the home game 3-4 after going a man down due to that poor decision-making from Onana.
Speaking to the reporters (h/t BBC), Ten Hag used the stats to defend Andre’s involvement in preventing goals. He said:
“If you analyse it well then you see he is the second-best goalkeeper in the Premier League based on stats, so his expected defending goals is the second best in the Premier League.”
United signed Onana to replace their legendary goalkeeper David De Gea during the summer transfer window. The 27-year-old played a pivotal role for Inter Milan last season in their Champions League final run.
The United boss signed Onana to use his ability to distribute from the backline alongside his goalkeeper qualities. However, the Cameroon international has failed to stamp his authority in the defence despite showing glimpses of his abilities.
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Ten Hag has worked alongside Onana at Ajax and the Dutchman trusts his former pupil enough to sign him again. The Cameroon international needs to repay the faith that his manager has in him. The Red Devils are currently chasing the top-four position in the Premier League.