Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag claimed “primary responsibility” for his team’s humiliating 4-0 loss at Brentford on Saturday, which dropped the former English champions to the bottom of the Premier League. Brentford, who were promoted to the Premier League in August 2021 after a 74-year absence, scored four goals in the first 35 minutes to ignite celebrations at their west London stadium.
United fell behind after goalkeeper David de Gea let a Josh Dasilva shot escape his grasp, followed by a goal from Mathias Jensen as the visitors failed to play out from the back.
Ben Mee exploited United’s weakness at set-pieces to score his first goal for Brentford, and Bryan Mbuemo capped a stunning counterattack 10 minutes before halftime.
Last week, former Ajax manager Ten Hag’s United tenure began with Brighton’s first win at Old Trafford, but this loss dropped the Red Devils to the bottom of the table for the first time in 30 years.
‘Open-heart surgery’ –
Ten Hag told Sky Sports, “You must take responsibility on the field as a team and as individuals; we failed to do so.”
“I requested that they play with conviction and accept responsibility for their performance. We must work on this.”
He added, “The manager is also accountable. He has the primary responsibility, which I will assume and work on.
In a separate interview with the BBC, the United manager stated that his squad must be “battle-ready.”
United were crowned English champions for the final time during manager Alex Ferguson’s final season in 2012/13.
However, Ten Hag was adamant that the team he sent out against Brentford was significantly better than this result indicated.
“It is evident that we need players, but I do not wish to consider that at this time,” he said.
“Our good players should have performed better. I had hoped for a better start, but I still have to believe because I have witnessed good things, although the next two games are disappointing.”
Former Manchester United and England fullback Gary Neville, a longtime critic of the club’s American owners, the Glazer family, criticized the Old Trafford hierarchy for failing to provide Ten Hag with adequate support.
“Manchester United has known for eight to ten months that it must rebuild its squad this summer,” said Neville, who is now a commentator for Sky.
“(Former manager) Ralf Rangnick stated that open-heart surgery was required.
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“It is puzzling and difficult to forgive that Erik ten Hag was unable to begin the season with the quantity and quality of players he needed to begin the season.”