There are six reasons why Erik ten Hag is wrong about Manchester United not being in crisis
A Premier League club was reveling in their transfer window activity. Supporters were outside the training ground to welcome a signing’s arrival and there was a record victory at a top-six club before the window had closed.
The manager was not as enthusiastic. “Good players, but not what I need,” he told a confidant. He was dismissed seven months later.
Erik ten Hag cannot play the same card. He has good players and mostly what he needs. Yet this has been a regressive start to Manchester United’s season and even their most optimistic supporters must accept the Premier League trophy will not have red, white and black ribbons tied to it in May.
Read more: United negotiator trying to change club’s transfer culture
Read more: United players set to return for Bayern Munich and Burnley fixtures
A championship challenge always seemed unrealistic. Currently, United are closer to the Championship.
The relative optimism of pre-season was halted by the tawdry handling of Mason Greenwood’s abandoned reintegration and the United communications department has had a fire to douse every week since. The smoke is still billowing.
Greenwood, defeat at Tottenham, defeat to Arsenal, Jadon Sancho, Antony, defeat to Brighton. United are a car crash with a pile-up to rival the Tories.
Ten Hag calmly claimed there was no crisis on Saturday. He must think the identity of United’s conquerors shields them. Arsenal, Brighton and an improved Tottenham all finished in the top eight last season. This is still the first time in 34 years that United have lost three of their first five league fixtures and crisis management was exercised to handle the Greenwood, Sancho and Antony issues. The Stretford End was half empty when Ten Hag approached it