A new era was supposed to begin for one of England’s finest clubs on August 7th, but instead, all went horribly wrong. Yes, new Manchester United manager Erik Ten Haag managed his first game, but it ended in a 2-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion. United supporters, who have now rallied to “#EmptyOldTrafford” when the Red Devils face Liverpool, were in dismay as their team showed no promise. No improvement despite all of the signs they saw during the preseason. Yes, it is way too early to react, but that’s just the nature of many supporters, but United especially.
The same mistakes
For starters, there was no sense of urgency from the United players, as we’ve come to know now. No runs to make an effort for a through ball, just a lot of solo acts. On the defensive side, Captain Harry Maguire and his back four gave up 15 shots to a Brighton team not known at all for shot creation. Marcus Rashford, who is desperate for a bounce back season, missed a crucial one on one chance against Robert Sanchez. It was offside anyway, but it’s one of the worst starts one can have to start the campaign. Although towards the end of the second half, Manchester United were able to gain momentum from an own goal, and keep creating chances. The offense felt more alive once Cristiano Ronaldo subbed on, but it just wasn’t enough in the end. A team that was invested this much in can’t be putting this type of product out on the pitch.
Is this a manager issue?
There is no possible way that this team’s performance can be blamed on the manager. Cannot be blamed on Ralf Rangnick, Ole, or Ten Haag. The team has shown no passion, in which there is only so much a manager can do to inspire them. If a player needs extra motivation or inspiration to play for Manchester United, than they simply should not be there. Every week, it seems like the same words come out of the teams mouth. “Disappointing, but we’ll be better next time.” But, it’s all talk at the end of the day. Ten Haag has world class players dealt to him, but it seems as if they don’t want to play for ETH.
I believe this comes down to the Glazer Family. It’s time for them to sell the club, and completely clean the house. This team is broken, and there isn’t much of a chance of it being fixed. Gary Neville said it perfectly: “’The time has come for the Glazer family to sell the football club. It’s now. They are the easiest team to play against in the league – that’s a massive worry. The openness of them is unbelievable. It will have been a shock to him (Ten Hag) after a promising pre-season.” New owners need to come in, find young talent who will truly play for the badge. I’m not even a Manchester United fan, but it’s pathetic for that club at this point. Yes, a rebuilding-ish type season will take some time for supporters to get used to, but it’s best for the club. Ten Haag needs players who will give it their all on the pitch.
Top Photo: GiveMeSport