A week to forget for Manchester United after their glaring flaws were exposed at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
After a mediocre victory over Wolves failed to hide the flaws, Erik ten Hag has some work to do. With a 2-0 victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Spurs made sure those flaws were adequately exposed.
Since Monday, the focus has largely been on the balance of United’s midfield. Is Mason Mount a good fit to play alongside Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes? Although early, the verdict is still out.
They were completely outmatched by the athleticism of Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr against the Spurs. In contrast, United appeared soft and lanky, leaving large openings for the opposition to take advantage of.
However, before Sarr scored from close range, United had the opportunity and obligation to alter the story. They competed and had their chances in the first half until their calibre declined.
The harmony of Ten Hag’s midfield can be examined. With over £400 million spent over three transfer windows, he can be judged on his transfer decisions.
Without a doubt, his strikers, particularly his wingers, are failing him. At the beginning of the season, he put his trust in Antony and Alejandro Garnacho, something Jadon Sancho wasn’t able to do, and they haven’t paid him back.
With United struggling for goals, the wide men haven’t stepped up, Marcus Rashford aside. It was poor planning for United to start the season without a centre-forward and the expectations now on Rasmus Hojlund are even greater without him kicking a ball.
The teams United is trying to catch, Manchester City and Arsenal, both have goal scorers on their rosters. How many times did Gabriel Martinelli or Bukayo Saka save the Gunners last season?
on contrast, United has received relatively little money back on its $158 million investment on Antony and Sancho. Having started just five games in the Premier League last year, Garnacho has slipped lower down the hierarchy, below the latter.
Ten Hag has seen enough of the young player to force Borussia Dortmund to release the high-profile newcomer. He is getting closer to being forever known as a costly addition to Old Trafford who was a bust. He is not the initial.
Ten Hag cannot be held responsible for Sancho’s signing, but the Dutchman has not made him better. Given the trust that has been placed in Antony, the United manager may feel let down by his performance.
Simply put, United needs more. Ten Hag is not blameless in all of this; in the end, his choices will determine whether or not he lives. However, he might undoubtedly feel resentful that players who cost so much are giving him such a poor return.
The top four opponents of United have elite wide attackers. Despite United’s enormous expenditure, Ten Hag now doesn’t seem to have that luxury.