HomeFeatured ArticlesCarragher: Manchester United are the 'Worst Coached Side' in the League

Carragher: Manchester United are the ‘Worst Coached Side’ in the League

Erik ten Hag and Manchester United: A Season on the Brink

Troubling Times at Old Trafford

Erik ten Hag’s tenure at Manchester United has hit a serious snag, emphasized by a staggering 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace. This loss not only intensified scrutiny on ten Hag’s future but also put United in a precarious position in the league standings. Despite a challenging season peppered with injuries, the defeat at Selhurst Park marked a significant low, sending ripples of concern throughout the fanbase and beyond. United, who are currently eighth in the Premier League, now face the very real possibility of finishing outside the European competition spots.

Defensive Woes and Tactical Missteps

The night’s result was telling of deeper issues within the squad, as United conceded their highest number of goals in a season since the late 1970s. This unwanted statistic was compounded by a dismal expected goals tally of just 0.35 against Palace—highlighting a lack of offensive sharpness that has plagued the team throughout the campaign. Ten Hag’s rotation of 14 different centre-back pairings, including an overwhelmed duo of Jonny Evans and Casemiro, has not helped stabilize a faltering defence.

Critics have been quick to highlight the tactical deficiencies. Jamie Carragher, the former Liverpool defender, did not mince words: “This is one of the most poorly coached teams in the Premier League, that is a fact. Ten Hag needs performances, he needs a belief.” The critique underscores a season fraught with late goals and lost points, a trend that has significantly derailed United’s ambitions.

Player Effort and Management Critique

Amidst these struggles, player effort and attitude have come under fire. Ashley Young, an ex-United player, pointed out the apparent lack of commitment, noting that if players aren’t even willing to put in the effort to run, troubles will only compound. This sentiment was echoed by ten Hag himself, who, in a rare candid moment, expressed his disappointment to BBC Match of the Day: “As Man United we should perform better. The players who were available should do better. It’s a deserved defeat. The performance wasn’t what we expected.”

Looking Forward: Ten Hag’s Resolve

Despite the harsh critiques and a night to forget for Casemiro—who was notably bested on multiple occasions—ten Hag remains determined to steer the ship back on course. With an FA Cup final against Manchester City on the horizon, United still has a shot at salvaging a spot in the Europa League. The Dutchman’s commitment to improvement remains unwavering, as he told Sky Sports: “Absolutely. I will keep fighting and I prepared the team in the best way I could do and it was not good enough, by far not good enough. I have to take the responsibility for that, but I will find energy and I will prepare them for Sunday’s game.”

As Manchester United look to their next league fixture against Arsenal, all eyes will be on ten Hag and his squad to deliver a performance worthy of their crest and their supporters’ steadfast faith. The season is far from over, and in the world of football, resilience can redefine the path ahead.

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