Christian Eriksen lauds much-maligned Man Utd star as big reason behind major upturn with star making Roy Keane eat his words

·4-min read
Christian Eriksen of Manchester United during the Premier League match at the Gtech Community Stadium Credit: PA Images
Christian Eriksen of Manchester United during the Premier League match at the Gtech Community Stadium Credit: PA Images

Manchester United’s recent upturn in fortunes is down to a variety of factors, according to Christian Eriksen, who also believes one regularly criticised star is finally proving the critics wrong.

The Red Devils endured a slow start to the new season, losing their first two games in embarrassing circumstances. Indeed, early questions were being asked of Erik Ten Hag after Brighton won at Old Trafford and they were then thrashed at Brentford in their next game.

However, a heart-to-heart with his players prompted an incredible win over Liverpool; the first of four successive Premier League wins/

That has rocketed United up the table and they now sit in fifth place ahead of Sunday’s game with Leeds.

The feel-good factor now looks to be back among the United squad, despite a Europa League loss to Real Sociedad in their last outing.

Part of that has been the bedding-in of some of United’s summer signings. Lisandro Martinez’s impact in the heart of the defence has been vast. Tyrell Malacia is quietly impressing, while new boy Antony also made a goalscoring debut to help sink Arsenal.

But it is arguably Eriksen who has been the most consistent. The 30-year-old has started all six Premier League matches for United, playing a total of 533 minutes so far.

United had to dig deep to prise the Danish star – a free-transfer signing – north to Manchester, amid claims they blew Tottenham out the water for his signing.

But it is clear to see the qualities he brings to the United side, with the player creating a number of chances and pulling the strings in midfield.

Christian Eriksen praise for Scott McTominay

Eriksen, though, insists he cannot do it all by himself. As such, he reckons his blossoming partnership with Scott McTominay is a big reason for the club’s improvement.

The Scotland midfielder is often the subject of criticism for his performances. Indeed, Roy Keane is among his most fierce critics, taking the player to task once again as recently as last month.

However, Eriksen – while not directly referring to Keane – reckons McTominay deserves more credit than he gets.

“Scott has done very well and I think you can see that from the games,” he told MUTV.

“I think in the first few ones we were looking for each other a bit and seeing where we are. But now I think we are starting to get a good connection and a good feeling of where you should be. Also because of the instructions of the manager as he has the positions he would like us to be in.

“So first of all we need to focus on our partnership and, at the same time, we need to focus on where the manager wants us to be.

“I think it’s gone well, but also when you win games it’s just easier to look back and the confidence builds up and you forget the small mistakes you make and remember the good things.

“There are a lot of things we can improve, but it’s a good road we’re on.”

Casemiro pushing for Man Utd start

McTominay’s place in the side will come under increasing threat from summer signing Casemiro in the coming weeks.

He has had to wait patiently since his high-profile arrival from Real Madrid over the summer. However, many believe it won’t be long before he displaces McTominay in the United engine room.

Christian Eriksen, however, insists the entire squad will have a role to play in the games and weeks ahead.

“[The whole squad] is going to be very important and I think this is a good year to have five substitutions – it will help the pressure on a lot of the players and also I think it will give the manager a few more options,” he added

“The guys who have come on [in recent Premier League games] have done very well – they want to prove themselves. And also the guys that have been starting want to prove themselves.

“So it’s a good and a strong push that I think we need [from everyone] because we have a lot of games and there is a lot of quality in the team. So we all have to fight for our places.”

United travel to face Sheriff of Moldova in their next Europa League game on Thursday. Then, on Sunday, United play host to Leeds United in what should be a firecracker of a game.

That’s their last game before the international break, with a win vital given they they resume with a trip to face champions Manchester City on October 2.

READ MORE: Man Utd offered chance to sign 15 players, including two USA stars and Napoli winger

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