A shocked ten Hague and a spineless midfield Manchester United
Every time there are high expectations with a new Manchester United head coach. And every time, any new coach who came after Alex Ferguson ends up hitting the same rake. True, at different times. Ten Hug jumped on them from the very doorstep and lost at home to Brighton in the first round. By the way, it was the first win for Brighton at Old Trafford.
In the first half, the visitors crushed MJ, and the teams went into the break with the score 2-0 in favor of Brighton after a double by Pascal Gross. Particularly appalling was the play in midfield, where the combination of McTominay and Fred showed their inconsistency. Both left the field, with Fred being replaced as early as 53 minutes by Ronaldo.
With Cristiano, things were more fun, but he managed to get only one goal back. And the idea with Eriksen in the attack did not seem to work. At the same time, it looks as if ten Hague understands and makes it clear: his team is raw and it lacks a couple of newcomers. But the season is still going on, and they’re still missing. And this hang-up can ruin the entire championship, and in the end cost the head coach himself dearly. He still has a strained relationship with Ronaldo, who is in limbo and could leave the team.
Cristiano started this match from the bench. After the game, Ten Hague diplomatically praised the Portuguese for coming on as a substitute, noting that he did not release him from the opening minutes due to a lack of playing time in pre-season. But it is clear to all that the problem with Ronaldo has yet to be solved by the coach. And that is a separate issue with which something needs to be done in parallel with solving the difficulties with the game itself. And there are all the same points that have been mentioned before and pointed out again: the dampness of the squad, the lack of responsiveness of the management and the poor commitment of the players.
The newcomers and the coach are not to blame
In deconstructing the outcome of the game, Gary Neville tried to take away the criticism of Erik ten Hag and the two rookies who were in the starting lineup. They were Lisandro Martinez, who found himself in the center of defense, and Christian Eriksen, who played the role of a false nine. According to Neville, if anyone should be blamed for the defeat, it’s the management at MJ, who never provided the coach with an acceptable squad for the start of the season, and now the club is frantically looking for reinforcements.
It’s too early to judge the newcomers. I think Martinez was very good in a few episodes. But he could have worked better in the goal episode. But for him it’s his first game at Old Trafford. It’s a new team for him, a team that is struggling. I don’t blame the newcomers or ten Hague. I don’t think they’re the problem. They’re new to the business.
The problem is that the club didn’t give the coach the best lineup. That’s unacceptable at the beginning of the season. It shouldn’t have happened, but it did. Perhaps everyone who was on the field gave a hundred percent, but there just have to be other players out there, better players.
MJ had a promising preseason, but anyone who watched the team last season or even earlier will admit that it was a familiar game. And management should have realized that this was an unacceptable situation: giving ten Hague such a team at the beginning of the season. The coach himself is shocked. The squad had to be strengthened. There is still time before the closing of the transfer window, but we need 3-4 weeks to adjust the team. I’m sure every coach comes in and thinks he can have more success with the same players. That’s probably the case. But ten Hug saw in this game what these guys are all about.
Everybody’s to blame
Another former Manchester United player, Roy Keane, is confident that individual players should not be taken out of the equation. In his opinion, MJ has not gotten rid of the problems of previous seasons:
We saw last season. These guys don’t run. They’re just not running. That can’t mean 100 percent effort. They’re not working hard in practice either. That discipline has to come from the players. But they don’t give it their all. I saw a lack of soccer intelligence. They didn’t open up well and couldn’t keep the gate shut.
I know this club’s DNA, its culture. They have none of that. I don’t see personality, I don’t see character. Here they say Maguire admitted: It was a nightmare. I respect that opinion, but the players themselves have to do something. Harry as captain all last season talked about how frustrated the team was, the team will rebuild. But it’s about time something really changed.
Potter is the next England coach
A separate line should be said about the historic success of Brighton at Old Trafford. In general. Head coach Graeme Potter is becoming an increasingly prominent figure in the English coaching field. And now he has also spoiled the debut of ten Hague, who became the first MJ coach since 2014 to lose an opening game in the APL.
One would think that one match is not worth making such statements, but this topic has long been discussed in the English press and among experts. The England team has a lot of potential, and in recent major tournaments it could go all the way, even taking trophies. Despite the harsh criticism inherent in the English media, Gareth Southgate evoked positive emotions. However, it is almost certain that the World Cup in Qatar will be his last in the national team. If there is no victory, then we will have to say goodbye to him and look for a new coach. And then the Brighton head coach will be at the top of the list of contenders.
I often hear that in England there is a problem with coaches for the national team. That is indeed true. However, to date there is no more obvious contender than Potter. He doesn’t have a lot of resources at Brighton. And he lost Bissoum and Cucurella this summer. Those were key players for his team. But season after season, Potter creates teams that are stronger than the sum of the individual performers. His team has a clearly defined style and good coaching that creates problems for opponents at any level.
Last season, Potter led the humble Brighton to a ninth place finish in the Premier League. True, any success of this team ruins it to some extent – the leaders are being dismantled, and now the threat of poaching the head coach is also real. But it will happen in the near future – you can be sure of that.