Possibly Ralf Rangnick was proper, in any case.
Possibly Manchester United does require soccer’s equal of “open-heart surgery” to repair the glut of points at present afflicting England’s greatest membership.
That was the blunt evaluation provided in April by Rangnick, United’s interim supervisor on the time, as he ready handy over the teaching reins to Erik ten Hag forward of this season.
And it’s taken simply two painful Premier League video games for Ten Hag to grasp fairly the mess he has joined.
Underperforming and — in sure circumstances — unmotivated gamers. An imbalanced, poorly assembled squad. A faltering recruitment crew unable to herald its main targets. American house owners more and more loathed by the followers.
Ten Hag, in the meantime, is including to his personal issues with some questionable decision-making in his first weeks in English soccer. “Rubbish” was one of many phrases the Dutchman used to explain United’s abysmal efficiency in its 4-0 loss at Brentford on Saturday that marked a brand new low level within the membership’s current historical past.
Erik’s post-match response. #MUFC || #BREMUN
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 13, 2022
Moments after the ultimate whistle at Brentford Neighborhood Stadium, because the joyous dwelling followers celebrated considered one of their crew’s finest ever outcomes, Ten Hag was seen standing immobile on the touchline, each arms behind his again, unable to consider what had transpired.
Ten Hag didn’t flinch as a moody-looking Cristiano Ronaldo walked previous, or as he was serenaded with chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning” from Brentford supporters.
Sunday was alleged to be a time off for United’s gamers however Ten Hag insisted they arrive in for coaching, with British broadcaster Sky Sports reporting that the supervisor needed to make his gamers run 13.8 kilometers, matching the distinction in complete distance the 2 groups ran throughout Saturday’s match.
These are nonetheless very early days within the Ten Hag period however the issues are mounting, a few of them of the Dutchman’s making.
Why, for instance, was Christian Eriksen — a midfield playmaker — deployed as a “false nine” within the 2-1 dwelling loss to Brighton on the opening weekend, then as a deep-lying midfielder towards Brentford? Was Lisandro Martinez, a brief heart again in modern-day phrases, the wisest buy for almost $58 million contemplating the famend physicality of the Premier League? Uncovered towards Brentford, he didn’t make it out for the second half.
Why is Harry Maguire, clearly missing in self-confidence on the sphere, nonetheless United’s captain when he shouldn’t actually be assured of a beginning spot? Then once more, Ten Hag hasn’t been helped by these above him. How has United gone into the brand new season with no new holding midfielder, a place the crew has desperately wanted to improve for years? United seems more likely to miss out on Frenkie de Jong regardless of a summer-long pursuit of the Barcelona midfielder and nonetheless should depend on the underwhelming Fred and Scott McTominay.
Certainly, upgrades are wanted all around the crew, particularly in assault with uncertainty nonetheless swirling round Ronaldo, who pushed for a transfer away throughout the offseason and — regardless of his famend goalscoring prowess — doesn’t have the mobility to swimsuit a typical Ten Hag-managed crew.
Brentford are slapping us up….my telephones going off….my head hurts….my coronary heart…HELP NEEDED
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) August 13, 2022
With Anthony Martial injured, Ronaldo is United’s solely out-and-out striker and performed the complete sport towards Brentford though he can not have been match-sharp. Tellingly, he left the sphere with out even Ten Hag.
Additionally notable Saturday have been among the banners held up by United supporters at Brentford calling for the departure of the Glazer household, the membership’s house owners. “Time 2 Go. Glazers Out” learn one, and the ambiance guarantees to be poisonous when United returns to Outdated Trafford subsequent week for its third match of the season.
That’s on Monday towards fierce rival Liverpool, which scored 9 targets towards United throughout two video games final season in humiliatingly one-sided conferences. The earlier season, a protest towards the Glazer household compelled the unprecedented postponement of the Premier League sport towards Liverpool at Outdated Trafford after the stadium was stormed and 1000’s extra supporters blocked entry into the venue as they demanded the Individuals — consumers in 2005 in a leveraged takeover — promote the membership.
Lose to Liverpool and that may imply United opening the season with three straight defeats. The final Ajax coach to affix a Premier League crew was Frank De Boer, who misplaced his first 4 matches accountable for Crystal Palace and was promptly fired after the crew struggled to adapt to his ways and calls for.
The worry is that Ten Hag merely doesn’t have the gamers to suit his fashion. Or, like within the case of Martinez, he has the flawed participant in a vital place.
Will United maintain its nerve if the shedding streak continues? Ten Hag certainly deserves a while however the early indicators are of a membership already in a disaster.