‘I was wrong’ – Souness admits mistake but blasts Ten Hag for one particular Man Utd tactic

·3-min read
Steve McClaren and Erik ten Hag Credit: PA Images
Steve McClaren and Erik ten Hag Credit: PA Images

Erik ten Hag has already started trying to deflect Manchester United’s myriad failures but Graeme Souness is having absolutely none of it.

Souness has admitted he was wrong about Manchester United in a damning critique of Ten Hag, Steve McClaren and 5ft 9in Lisandro Martinez.

Manchester United are bottom of the Premier League table after following up a 2-1 opening day defeat to Brighton with a 4-0 humbling at the hands of Brentford.

The Bees ran roughshod over Manchester United and their haphazard defence, with Souness scoffing at Ten Hag’s attempts to deflect post-match.

‘When Erik ten Hag arrived at Manchester United this summer, I was encouraged by his early comments about being a disciplinarian,’ he wrote in his Daily Mail column.

‘It seemed all measured and correct. Now, after a couple of bad results, he sounds to me like someone who has gone into self-preservation mode.

‘Very quickly his tone is negative: he’s not getting much help, he’s not got the players he wanted, the players have to take responsibility. It’s like, “I’m looking after my own backside here”.

‘I would be concerned by that. You don’t get a free pass. When you’re out spending money – and the three signings so far have been his picks – that free pass shrinks in the wash.’

A bit like his new centre-half.

‘Time is not your friend. It is too strong and too early to say the job is beyond Ten Hag, but he has come from Ajax, the biggest club in the Netherlands, and is now manager of arguably the biggest club in the world. It is a different ball game, different expectation, different pressure.’

Souness also pointed the finger at assistant Steve McClaren for his part in the Brentford debacle.

‘Last Saturday, United were way wide of the mark with selection and approach. You don’t have to be a nuclear scientist to know what is coming – but United didn’t. Brentford are an in-your-face team who will test you in all aspects of a football match. McClaren, and others around Ten Hag, should have given him better advice.

‘I mean, 5ft 9in Lisandro Martinez at centre back? Ivan Toney must have looked at him in the warm-up and thought, “I’m gonna have a good day today”. And he did. I fear Martinez will struggle in the Premier League because of his size. But he’s Ten Hag’s big signing from Ajax and he won’t abandon him.

Erik ten Hag right to go old-school on Manchester United’s modern-day shirkers

‘I have read that Martinez can also play as a holding midfield player, and he may end up there, especially as United are screaming out for quality in that area. At least he looks combative.

‘Ten Hag played Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes in his midfield last Saturday, thinking it’s a game of football going to Brentford. As if Thomas Frank tells his players, “It’s Man United today, let’s have a jolly nice game of football”.

‘Brentford rattled United’s cage good and proper. So yes, I would worry about what information Ten Hag is getting from his backroom team.

‘It looks like being another year of scrutiny and disappointment. I wrote in this column two weeks ago that I could see United finishing in the top four. I was wrong. That is almost certainly beyond them.’

The article ‘I was wrong’ – Souness admits mistake but blasts Ten Hag for one particular Man Utd tactic appeared first on Football365.com.