Jamie Carragher claims Manchester United have NO identity under Erik ten Hag and insists the Dutchman’s ‘underdog football’ approach can’t be blamed on the Glazers
Jamie Carragher has warned Manchester United about Erik ten Hag and is so rudderless that no discernible playing style has emerged under the Dutchman in eighteen months.
United were outclassed by City in Sunday’s Manchester derby, losing 3-0 at Old Trafford and showing no tangible sign of closing the gap on the Premier League champions.
If anything, Carragher believes United are slipping further under Ten Hag, citing their lack of identity as a major problem.
“None of us here can explain what Manchester United are trying to do in terms of the way they play,” the former Liverpool defender told Sky Sports on Sunday.
‘He (ten Hag) has been here for almost a year and a half now. We’ve seen Unai Emery come into Aston Villa, we’ve seen Ange Postecoglou come into Tottenham.
Erik ten Hag is quickly using up all the credit he built up in his first season at Old Trafford
Jamie Carragher believes that the Dutchman has failed to give United an identity in eighteen months
‘In a short time it doesn’t mean you win every week, but when you go to the games you know what you are going to see.
‘We still don’t know what we’re going to see with Manchester United. Just tell me how they play the ball.”
United finished third in Ten Hag’s first season in charge and won a first trophy in six years, but any honors the Dutchman built up last season are quickly fading away.
The twenty-time champion of England is in eighth place in the rankings, eleven points behind leaders Tottenham and eight behind Liverpool in fourth place.
United have lost five of their 10 Premier League games so far this season and have scored as many goals as a team (11) as Erling Haaland on his own.
Although Carragher admitted that the continued uncertainty over the takeover did not help Ten Hag, he insisted that United’s lack of identity on the pitch could not be blamed on the Glazers.
“Every time they get beaten badly in a game, it all goes back to the owner,” he said.
‘Of course it’s not right, the supporters are not happy with it, but you are talking about a style of football
United was completely outclassed by Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday
Erling Haaland scored twice in a comfortable 3-0 win for the Premier League champions
‘What he does on the training pitch from Monday to Friday has nothing to do with the arrival of Jim Radcliffe.
‘What does he want those players to do? If they build from the back – and we see every top team in the league doing that – what are Manchester United trying to do with the ball?”
Carragher elaborated, suggesting United’s approach was typical of a team looking to avoid being completely outclassed by better opponents.
“They play underdog football and have done so since he came in,” he said.
‘They counter-attack and play a lot of long balls. No other top team plays like that.
‘It has nothing to do with what’s happening above him. What does he do on the training pitch, with the players he brings in, and what does he ask of them? You can’t see it.’
Ten Hag’s signings at Old Trafford were largely disappointing. Antony, the club’s second most expensive signing at £82m, had no impact when he came on for a second-half cameo.
Mason Mount, who made a £60m signing from Chelsea in the summer, was left on the bench for the third time in a row and failed to make any impression when he came on, while loanee Sofyan Amrabat was withdrawn at half-time.
Casemiro, meanwhile, has struggled to recapture the form he showed in his first season at Old Trafford after joining from Real Madrid for £60m last summer.
Mason Mount, a £60million summer signing from Chelsea, was left on the bench for the third game in a row and had no impact when he came on
Carragher described Casemiro as one of United’s worst signings under Ten Hag
The Brazilian was absent on Sunday but Carragher described him as ‘one of the worst signings they have made’.
Gary Neville acknowledged in the same panel that United had let ten Hag dictate recruitment policy.
“They have allowed another manager to dictate policy and let the tail wag on hiring,” he said.
‘They have brought eight Eredivisie players from a competition that Erik ten Hag thinks he can trust.’