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Erik ten Hag explains the genius behind key Manchester United substitution vs Aston Villa

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag explains the idea behind bringing in Scott McTominay for Marcus Rashford
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag explains the idea behind bringing in Scott McTominay for Marcus Rashford

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag explains the idea behind bringing in Scott McTominay for Marcus Rashford

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has explained the idea behind taking out Marcus Rashford, a forward and bringing on Scott McTominay, a midfielder in his place when his side was chasing a goal, speaking to Sky Sports as quoted by the BBC.

The Red Devils ran 2-1 winners against Unai Emery’s side at Villa Park, with Rasmus Hojlund opening the scoring early in the game. Villa equalized through Douglas Luiz but Scott ‘super-sub’ McTominay ensured he got United all three points from this game.

United were rather fortuitous to come out of the game with three points last night. They had a good spell in the first 20 minutes of the game that culminated with Hojlund’s goal. Since that minute though, it was mostly Villa in the game.

Erik ten Hag set his team up to play an attacking brand of football but it did not necessarily pan out that way. The old problems came back to haunt Manchester United. The midfield seemed dysfunctional and the defence lacked co-ordination.

One thing that really caught the eye of people watching the game was why and how Erik ten Hag decided to bring Marcus Rashford off and replace him with Scott McTominay when his side were chasing a goal. The manager has explained the rationale behind his decision.

“The players were going for goals because they are offensive but it was better in certain situations to keep the ball, drag players out and that was the idea to bring an extra midfielder into there.”

Not sure it worked out that way, Erik!

Yes, McTominay scored the goal but we are not very sure Manchester United gained control of the ball like Erik ten Hag would have hoped for. If the Dutchman did want to control the game better, perhaps the Scott midfielder was not the solution.

Scott clutch McTominay
Scott clutch McTominay

Let’s be clear, we are not taking anything away from his finishing. McTominay has built himself the reputation of somewhat of a box crasher and has already won so many important games for us. However, Man United have issues that run much deeper.

Bruno Fernandes was almost non-existent on the pitch last night. Even when he got on the ball, he always seemed to make the wrong decision. One thing the Red Devils can’t afford is their Portuguese playmaker not playing well.

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Ten Hag also needs to take a look at his team’s defensive organisation. We might have got the win last night but it was a game that left us with more questions than answers. Let’s wait and see where things go from here.

Written by Pranav Kannan

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