Jamie Carragher has questioned where Manchester United are heading under Erik ten Hag ahead of Sunday’s Manchester derby. The Red Devils have picked up some big wins of late, albeit they have picked up those wins by the skin of their teeth.
Andre Onana bailed out United for their 1-0 win over Copenhagen during the week, while they required a Diogo Dalot super-strike to see off Sheffield United and late Scott mcTominay heroics to beat Brentford. Heading into Sunday’s derby with City, the Red Devils are in eighth place, and confidence levels still aren’t high after another poor start to the season.
Head coach Ten Hag appears to be safe for now, but his side need to show signs of progression quickly if he is going to avoid coming under serious pressure during his second season in charge. And Carragher believes such judgement is just, questioning the direction United are heading in under Ten Hag and questioning the Dutchmans’s ‘vision’.
“United are in an unfulfilling holding pattern, seeking to eke out results and get by before their next refresh,” Carragher wrote in his column for the telegraph “It is a measure of their faltering progress that they are preparing for another Manchester derby with trepidation rather than expectation.
“Yet again, the only means by which they can stop manchester city this weekend is by playing ‘underdog football’ – sitting deep, counter-attacking and hoping defensive resilience yields a reward.
“Ten Hag was never going to reach City’s extraordinary level in his second season. It would be unreasonable to expect him to be able to go toe-to-toe with the champions on Sunday without risking humiliation. But 15 months on from his old trafford appointment, there are valid questions to be asked about where the team is going and what the manager’s footballing vision really is.”