Despite Manchester United’s disastrous start to the season, Erik ten Hag is adamant that he is still the best man to restore the club’s glory days.
Ten Hag’s first two Premier League losses to Brentford and Brighton have put United in the bottom of the table going into Monday’s matchup at Old Trafford against their bitter rivals Liverpool and see West Ham outcome.
Ten Hag is now under much more pressure than he ever could have imagined, but the Dutchman is adamant that his grand plan will succeed.
Ten Hag declared, “I’m not here for myself; I’m here to fix the club.” I was aware that this would be a challenge, and I wanted it.
I was aware that it would be challenging, but I wanted that because I always overcame challenges at the beginning of my career and am confident that I will do the same here.
“I decided on this project. I was aware that it was a process, and I’ll stick to our plan and philosophy. I continue to have faith in the cooperation I receive from the players, coaches, and directors.
Ten Hag was hesitant to mention the gap between United and Liverpool, despite the fact that his club would surpass Jurgen Klopp’s squad if they triumph on Monday.
In addition to Cristiano Ronaldo’s lack of preseason fitness, Anthony Martial’s hamstring injury, David de Gea’s erratic play, Harry Maguire’s new central defensive partnership with Lisandro Martinez, and United’s failure to sign a defensive midfielder were some of the factors he cited as contributing to the team’s shaky start.
We now know where we are, he continued. We must significantly improve, work on our plan, and stop focusing on Liverpool. We had a solid pre-season overall.
We had two center backs who had never played together in the first game, our No. 9 Martial was injured, Ronny wasn’t healthy, the No. 6 holding midfield role wasn’t present, and the goalie wasn’t playing at his best.
There is an obvious cause, but I am confident that we will address it and that the outcomes will improve.
In order to address the defensive midfield position, United has now signed Casemiro, but the Brazilian won’t have finished a £70 million transfer from Real Madrid in time to make his debut on Monday.
Now that Martial is healthy again, Ten Hag must decide whether to keep Ronaldo in the starting lineup. He is also rumored to be considering dropping his captain Maguire.
“When the attitude is bad within the team, often the leaders are not there since they are the ones that set the example.” We need to focus on that area.
I always collaborate with a group of leaders rather than just one. I discussed this matter with the authorities. We have a core group that needs to lead by example and shoulder the burden.
Even though the 5ft 9in Argentine had a terrible first half in the 4-0 loss at Brentford, Ten Hag hinted at keeping his new £55.3m center-back Martinez in central defense.
I don’t think any player on the field had a harder 45 minutes than I did, he continued. He excelled in aerial duels, challenges, and passing, but he also made blunders, just like the rest of the team. I had the option of switching 11 players.
Midway through the game, Ten Hag decided to punish his team by calling them in for extra training the following day.
“I made the choice on Saturday, in fact, when watching the performance during the game. That is not Man United’s standard, and it certainly isn’t mine.
That needed to be altered. I must explain to the team what the expectation is that we won’t accept that.
I hope they are upset, but hopefully upset with each other and themselves for not accepting responsibility.
You cannot live up to my expectations for you, the team, Man United, and all of the Man United supporters.
“The explanation why doesn’t interest me. They simply need to deliver. They owe it to me, and I to them. Don’t get me wrong; I want to emphasize that I’m in the same situation as the athletes when I talk about them.
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