The manager of Manchester United, Erik ten Hag, stated that he wanted “more football” by substituting Christian Eriksen for Casemiro during their match against Brentford. Eriksen took the field in place of Casemiro.
After putting up one of his worst performances for United, the listless Casemiro was taken off and replaced by Eriksen at halftime, with Brentford leading 1-0.
After an outstanding season in 2022-2023, Casemiro has struggled during the entire season, and his place in the team is currently in question due to the removal of his interval.
Ten Hag remarked, “I wanted more football,” adding, “one who brings passing, distribution, and link-up play.” Consequently, I reasoned that we should have Christian Eriksen play Case.
At Old Trafford, United avoided suffering a third consecutive loss thanks to two goals scored by substitute Scott McTominay in the 93rd and 97th minutes, respectively. The result was a jubilant comeback victory for United.
As a result of the victory, Manchester United are now in the top half of the standings in the Premier League, and they have won four games and lost four games through their first eight matches.
Ten Hag was still irritated about certain aspects of the performance even after the celebratory scenes at full-time, and he warned United players that they cannot let themselves to be “eaten” again after they were defeated by opponents with a greater hunger earlier in the season.
“Those games give fuel to a dressing room,” Ten Hag emphasized, “they know how far they have to go to get results and that it can’t be easy-going.” “Those games give fuel to a dressing room,”
“In football, it’s either eaten or you get eaten. There’s no in between.” In the first half of the season, we lost to opponents that were more hungry than us far too many times, and that just cannot continue to happen. It’s time for it to go away.
“Every player, every second that he is on the pitch, he is required to deliver that; that is the demand and that is the standard.” When you do that, as we saw throughout the previous campaign, you get a team that is determined. And we were not always determined on every single occasion when we were playing games, and you get hammered for this, and it is something that needs to change.
In addition, Ten Hag criticized the decision-making of several players who were not identified in the build-up to Mathias Jensen’s first goal. The free kick that was taken inside United’s third was delivered to Casemiro by Harry Maguire, but Casemiro’s ball was stolen before he could lose the subsequent duel.
After the ball came into United’s area, the Red Devils had multiple opportunities to clear it, but a poor clearance by Victor Lindelof allowed it to ricochet into the direction of Jensen, whose shot was able to sneak past Andre Onana despite his lackluster performance in goal.
“I think we controlled the game without creating many chances and we had to get more box entries,” Ten Hag said. “But I think when the game is in the opponent’s half, we controlled their counters – and even though they are quick and they are good on counter-attacks, we didn’t allow them to counter-attack.”
They have some standards, some set plays, they are extremely strong in it, and they had two opportunities from it, but we didn’t give them one shot and we had several opportunities. “They have some standards, some set plays, they are very strong in it, and they had two opportunities from it.
“And then, the same narrative happened again—we gave up a goal at a critical juncture, and that was absolutely the wrong option. There could be up to three players.
“We start without a formation and an easy giveaway, and it sums up a little bit about our season, because when you give the ball away easily in top football, you get punished for it. We have two strong players who can perform in this manner.
Because of this, not only does this need to be a turning point, but it also needs to be a restart, since we need to progress to higher levels. When everyone is working together, there is a good atmosphere, there is a good belief, and we have proved that we have great character. This might be the turning point in the season, but it is up to us to make it happen.
“If you aren’t able to perform under pressure, you shouldn’t play here. Those players have a wealth of experience under their belts. They are such professional-caliber players. They are the ones who need to accept responsibility.
“So, I won’t point the finger at a specific player, but I definitely notice it during the offseason and at the beginning of the season. It is necessary for us to accept responsibility. Therefore, you are responsible for both defending and controlling the ball when you have it.
“When crucial situations arise, we have to acknowledge that in order to have a good organization, we require leadership—something that we do not always have. We start the play despite being out of formation and with a free kick in our possession.
If we want to be successful, we can’t make any more of those simple, preventable errors. We have to cut them out of our game. But the bright side is that this team has tremendous character and demonstrates belief, unity, and in oneness with the supporters. I am sure that we will have to fight our way into every season, and it can be helpful and a basis to build on.