Premier League

Sacking Erik ten Hag from Manchester United is not the answer

Sacking Erik ten Hag from Manchester United is not the answer

The reaction to the Manchester United v Brentford performance has been understandably severe, the clamour for the manager to be replaced has been heightened in recent days, but despite some very poor performances this season, Erik ten Hag (EtH) still retains the support of the majority of this fan base.

It’s not really that difficult to analyse what’s gone wrong this season. The Varane / Martinez CB axis has been decimated by injury, Shaw has been injured most of the season and key players from last year such as Casemiro, Eriksen, Bruno and Rashford have all been affected by poor form.

In addition, I think EtH has attempted to implement a more aggressive pressing style, which has left us wide open in midfield and the constantly changing back 4 exposed.

Eriksen’s ball playing ability has been missed in midfield and Casemiro’s aging legs have not been able to cover more ground as a result of the more aggressive press.

The poor form of both Bruno and Rashford has decimated our attacking output and ability to score goals. With Mount being injured for most of the season, Garnacho now being deployed on the RW and Sancho expelled, EtH has been left with little option than to continue to play them both, hoping eventually they will wake up from their malaise and play themselves back into form. Unfortunately, this has not happened and with Mount returning and Ahmed itching for a chance, maybe EtH should roll the dice.

We’ve had no LB for much of the season and the overreliance on fringe players such as Maguire and McTominay have resulted in a confused and disjointed approach. Conversely, Maguire has done ok this season and McTominay has scored goals but neither are particularly suited to an aggressive pressing style and McTominay is just not good enough on the ball to allow us to dominate games. His more advanced position this season has also meant we have been unable to retain possession more readily or build up effectively from deeper positions and we are particularly vulnerable to quick transitions and counter attacks.

With some smart recruitment in the summer and some better luck with injury to key players, I can see this turning around pretty quickly. EtH has shown an ability to win football games, despite poor performances and whilst nobody really wants to use injury as an excuse, it is an excuse.

Liverpool’s season was ruined by injury last year and even a brilliant manager like Klopp couldn’t find the level of consistency required to finish in the top 4….

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