Erik ten Hag has conceded that Manchester United “played like kids” in the club’s 4-0 loss to Brentford. A report by Jason Burt of The Telegraph states that the manager demanded a response in an intense training session the day after the match.
The Aftermath of Brentford’s Demolition of Manchester United
What Did the Result Mean?
The result of the match at the Gtech Community Stadium had a few different outcomes. Firstly, the Red Devils ended the day at the very bottom of the Premier League. With a goal difference of -5, the club was quite comfortably out of reach of some of the other lowly sides in the division. No matter how big of a club Manchester United is, relegation looms equally for all sides.
Losing in such a manner to the Bees also prompted a monumental backlash online. Club protests against the Glazers are inevitably going to build ever further, and a league fixture against Liverpool next week will only worsen the temperatures in and around the side.
🚨 Erik ten Hag wanted to make Man Utd players run 13.8 kilometres during extra training session today because Brentford players ran 13.8 kilometres more than them yesterday pic.twitter.com/G1RyOZA1mx
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) August 14, 2022
How Manchester United ‘Played Like Kids’
Erik ten Hag has had plenty of time to work at Carrington, but it certainly didn’t look like it. Yet again, Manchester United played without any structure or even any semblance of interest in getting a result after the second goal went in. Their average positioning per player was effectively a horizontal line, with the entire side simply not bothering to try to outrun their opponents and finding themselves in a flat structure where the difference between defence and midfield meant nothing. In reality, the defence itself meant nothing either.
A complete and utter lack of discipline was another factor in this match too. Harry Maguire received a yellow card just 16 minutes in and three further players received yellow cards in the final ten minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo even walked straight off the pitch without acknowledging his manager. The Old Trafford side have no structure, whether that’s in the form of leadership or tactics.
Ronaldo not happy and no handshake for Ten Hag pic.twitter.com/HGtmYXyBs5
— James Robson (@jamesalanrobson) August 13, 2022
If this is going to be a hard season, which it’s starting to look like, Manchester United need to start having some maturity and discipline on the pitch. There’s no point in coaching when it goes out of the window the moment David de Gea makes a mistake.
How Did Erik Ten Hag React?
One of the first responses for Ten Hag was to cancel the players’ day off. The Sunday after the match saw intense training, featuring a running session. This seems unwise after a matchday, but as methods of getting a response go, it’s one that the players will notice.
The club is also looking to speed up its transfer plans. This comes in a few ways, with the side looking for two midfielders to grab control over matches in the future. These arrivals may come alongside a new centre-forward, with Ronaldo still angling for an exit from the club.
Regardless of his methods, the Dutchman needs a response. Without a bounceback by next Monday, Old Trafford could be an incredibly angry stadium when Liverpool come to town.