A report claims Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag was ‘disgruntled’ with his team and one player in particular just minutes into his second match as manager.
The Red Devils got off to the worst possible start under the Dutchman when an opening day 2-1 defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford was followed up by a 4-0 thrashing at Brentford six days later.
However, Man Utd have recovered well, losing just two more matches in their next 13 Premier League fixtures and moving up to fifth in the table.
They are now back in control of their potential top-four destiny with Man Utd one point behind fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand.
Ten Hag has had to overcome a number of obstacles during his early tenure at Old Trafford with Cristiano Ronaldo – who caused his biggest headaches – now departed.
And The Times has revealed that the Man Utd players ‘had only just stepped on to the pitch at Brentford and Erik ten Hag was already disgruntled with them’.
The report adds:
‘The new manager did not like the attitude that his team were showing at the beginning of his second match in charge, which took place in 32C heat in August. “It’s way too hot to play football,” one of the players moaned. The new United manager was unimpressed. “Stop whining,” he yelled back at the player from the touchline.
‘Everything that happened that day — from the episode with the moaning player to the way in which his team collapsed to a 4-0 defeat — reinforced what Ten Hag had suspected about United when he was asked for his observations on the squad during discussions with the chief executive Richard Arnold, the football director John Murtough, the technical director Darren Fletcher and club owners the Glazer family before he was offered the manager’s job.’
With results turning around, helped partly by the addition of Casemiro in midfield, Ten Hag is now turning his attention to the January transfer window in which he needs to find a new striker.
Marcus Rashford and injury-prone Anthony Martial are their two main options up front after Ronaldo left the club in November and it feels like Man Utd are one injury away from a striker crisis.
Ten Hag has acknowledged that he wants a new striker in January but he also reinforced his confidence in the attacking players already at his disposal.
Speaking earlier this week, the Man Utd boss said: “I never spoke about that I have doubt about that on the counter side. We have (Alejandro) Garnacho, we have (Anthony) Elanga, we have numbers as well, but those four didn’t play two games together. I think only Everton.
“When we can play those front four often together there will be more routines and when we get more routines in we have more of a goalscoring threat and that is what you see tonight, we score three goals. I am quite happy with them.
“When you are critical – and I am – there is room for improvement because we should score more than three goals with the chances we create but I’m happy with creating all those chances.”
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