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Man United issues predate Ten Hag, but new manager will be under pressure if slide continues

Erik ten Hag selected to not stroll over to the travelling Manchester United followers tucked into the nook of Brentford‘s Gtech Neighborhood Stadium after what had been a humiliating afternoon in west London, but when he had, he would have been spared a lot of the anger that spilled out onto the pitch following the 4-0 defeat.

Nearly everybody else on the membership — the gamers, the house owners, the recruitment division, CEO Richard Arnold, soccer director John Murtough — has taken the majority of the criticism following a begin to the season that has left United backside of the Premier League after two video games. Ten Hag, although, has been largely insulated.

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Most supporters are effectively conscious the issues at Previous Trafford run far deeper than a supervisor who has solely been on the membership for a few months. But when outcomes proceed in the identical vein, will probably be the Dutchman whose pays the worth. After defeats to Brighton and Brentford, he has already been made third-favourite to be the primary Premier League supervisor to be sacked this season behind Ralph Hasenhuttl (Southampton) and Frank Lampard (Everton).

United keep that Ten Hag is a long-term appointment, however there should be indicators of progress quickly. Membership chiefs have been impressed with the 52-year-old’s strategy off the pitch, however to date, his file on it reads two video games and two defeats with Liverpool up subsequent on Monday.

Ten Hag has made it clear to each Arnold and Murtough that if he is to show issues round, he wants new gamers earlier than the switch deadline on Sep. 1. Sources have instructed ESPN that the membership are “aligned” along with his demand for extra signings, however with two weeks to go earlier than the shut of the window, the clock is ticking.

Ten Hag desires to signal Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, whereas a deal for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot has collapsed over the Frenchman’s wage calls for. Ideally, he desires at the very least yet another ahead — Christian Pulisic is the newest participant linked to a transfer, albeit on mortgage — one other goalkeeper and a right-back as effectively, however he accepts the probabilities of having all his requests met earlier than the top of the window are slim.

There is a sense from Ten Hag’s facet that the membership, to date, will not be fulfilling their facet of the discount by way of making adjustments to a squad that underperformed so miserably final season. However throughout conversations main as much as his appointment, it was made clear he must get extra out of the prevailing gamers and there are considerations — small at this stage, although rising after that 4-0 defeat at Brentford — that it is not occurring.

Each Ten Hag and the gamers settle for they’re additionally having to deal with the hangover from final season in addition to studying in regards to the calls for of a brand new supervisor and a brand new fashion of play, however there isn’t any getting away from the truth that many inside Previous Trafford anticipated a much better begin. Whereas the opening day defeat to Brighton was disregarded as teething issues, the way of the collapse at Brentford — a crew assembled for a fraction of the price of United’s and having fun with solely their second-ever season within the Premier League — has brought about minor panic.

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There isn’t a suggestion that the board are doubting their choice to select Ten Hag over Mauricio Pochettino, who has Premier League expertise with Southampton and Tottenham, they count on a big response towards Liverpool.

Certainly one of Ten Hag’s key selections earlier than assembly Jurgen Klopp’s crew — and there are a lot — is whether or not to stay with Lisandro Martinez. At £56.7 million, Martinez has been United’s most vital summer season signing and one with Ten Hag’s fingerprints throughout it after the pair labored collectively at Ajax. However after delivery 4 targets in 35 minutes at Brentford, Martinez was changed at half-time and afterwards, Thomas Frank steered each he and Brighton counterpart Graham Potter focused the Argentinian due to a perceived lack of top.



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“We knew we might extra probably both win it or the second ball round it,” stated Frank. “In fact we checked out what Brighton did effectively towards them, and Brighton are additionally like us in the way in which they wish to play.

“Usually Brighton at all times construct from the goalkeeper, however they went lengthy each single time, so after all we checked out that. We knew we had that weapon, in order that’s why we did it.”

Sources have instructed ESPN that Ten Hag doesn’t consider Martinez performed that badly towards Brentford, however Frank’s assertion is damning. It’s too early to guage a brand new signing nonetheless adapting to a brand new league, but when Martinez’s issues proceed, it would name Ten Hag’s judgement into query, significantly after he put himself on the centre of this summer season’s recruitment drive. For instance there have already been questions, from inside and outdoors the dressing room, about his choice to select Christian Eriksen as a false No. 9 towards Brighton, why he hasn’t noticed that David de Gea struggles to go out from the again, and why he was so fast to reinstall Harry Maguire as captain after it turned such a contentious subject final season.

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Sources have instructed ESPN that Ten Hag spent a lot of his interview with Arnold and Murtough detailing the issues at Previous Trafford and the begin to the season has solely served to indicate how deeply they run.

Nobody, not least Ten Hag, was anticipating a straightforward marketing campaign, however then nobody was anticipating United to be backside of the league after two video games both. It appears absurd that Ten Hag, after solely a matter of weeks in cost, could possibly be underneath such scrutiny regardless of being parachuted right into a scenario not of his making, however many followers would argue that the membership has lengthy since descended into farce.

A house sport towards Liverpool — themselves enduring a tough begin to the season, with a litany of accidents, attracts towards Fulham and Crystal Palace and Darwin Nunez going through a suspension for his purple card on Monday — provides an opportunity to construct some much-needed momentum in a giant sport and ease the strain on the brand new supervisor. Alternatively, one other dangerous consequence and Ten Hag won’t discover himself absolved of blame for for much longer.



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