As Manchester United descends further into yet another season of mediocrity, supporters of the team may grow weary of “dressing room sources” spilling the beans about what goes on behind the scenes at Old Trafford, but it’s easy to think there’s some validity to the rumors that manager Erik ten Hag is losing the respect of his players. Ten Hag has led the team to back-to-back 3-0 home losses against Manchester City and Newcastle, which have only highlighted how far the Red Devils have fallen since their heyday. According to the Manchester Evening News, “some players are starting to doubt Ten Hag.”
United have lost eight out of 15 this season and are in apparent disarray, with the signings of the former Ajax boss failing to fire, off field problems and the ongoing jadon sancho issue lingering over the club.
The winger was attacked by Ten Hag in August after a poor week in training, with events since then spiralling to such a degree that the only resolution is likely to be one man or the other leaving.
Ten Hag talking himself into trouble
One of the reasons for Sancho’s anger is that he feels that Ten Hag is openly critical of him but has favourites in the squad. Reports suggest he is far from alone in feeling like this.
That is why the manager’s comments after the 3-0 loss at Newcastle are unlikely to have gone down well.
“The team is not playing well when we don’t bring him the balls and I am also responsible for that,” he said in the defence of €100 million winger Antony.
“There was also a lot of noise and that dropped his levels. He can do better but all the players can do better.
– Ten Hag on Antony
“I’m a fighter and Antony is also a fighter, he has the confidence”.
“He is brave and I am confident he will bring the performance that he is the right player for us.”
Leaving aside the 23-year-old’s off-field issues this season, his performance on the park has not been good enough.
While the likes of Marcus Rashford has credit in the bank, justifying his ongoing selection, what has Antony done for Man Utd?
He has yet to deliver a goal or an assist for the club this season, while his total of 10 yellow cards over this season and last is more than the times he has scored.
Of course, Sancho has not done much better at Old Trafford, but he has not been given the protection offered to Antony, and it’s easy to see why that would upset him.