In the aftermath of West Ham’s overwhelming victory against Manchester United on Saturday, Paul Scholes blasted Erik ten Hag for being “naive” in away games. This criticism brought to light ongoing problems that occur when West Ham is competing against more formidable opponents.
Under the leadership of the Dutchman, Manchester United has had a difficult time performing well away from home. This is evidenced by their recent loss to West Ham as well as their prior difficult journeys to Tottenham, Arsenal, and Newcastle this season.
Even in the Premier League, they have had problems traveling, as evidenced by the fact that they were defeated at Anfield by a score of 7-0 during the previous season. As an additional point of interest, their early elimination from the Champions League was partially related to their poor performance in road matches.
In an interview with TNT Sports, Scholes directed his criticism toward Ten Hag, pointing out concerns with the team’s tactical approach. He stated, “They struggled last year in the big games, and I also felt that it was naive going to good away grounds and playing with one holding midfielder and the rest being attacking with the rest of the team.” In his remarks, Scholes stressed how challenging it would be to implement such a strategy against the best teams in England.
Willy Kambwala, a 19-year-old defender, was suddenly put in the starting eleven for the match against West Ham. This was due to the fact that Raphael Varane was struggling with a sickness and Harry Maguire was suspended. “West Ham is difficult to play against, but they also have brilliant forward players that can cause you trouble,” Scholes said, expressing his initial anxiety about United’s chances of winning the match.
The fact that United was defeated by a score of 2-0, which placed them in seventh position in the standings, demonstrated that these concerns were justified. As a result of the outcome, Ten Hag is in a more precarious position, as he is now subject to increased scrutiny. In light of the fact that Old Trafford will host a match against Aston Villa on Boxing Day, Ten Hag is obligated to address the team’s performance difficulties as shortly as possible.
Not only do the unsatisfactory results coincide with Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s projected acquisition of a twenty-five percent share in the club, but they also have the ability to influence the direction that the team is headed in. Ten Hag’s position is becoming even more perilous as the transfer window for January draws near. In order to resuscitate United’s form both on the road and at home, there is a need for upgrades and tweaks to the team’s strategic approach.
Given these hurdles, the ability of Ten Hag to strike the appropriate balance in tactics and manage the difficulties that Manchester United experiences when playing away from home becomes crucial to the club’s success in the remaining games of the season.