Erik ten Hag has responded to Jamie Carragher for his “subjective” criticism of Manchester United’s pressing in Saturday’s defeat to Fulham at Old Trafford.
Carragher made his comments to Sky Sports on Monday Night Football, but a testy Ten Hag hit back ahead of United’s FA Cup match against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night, accusing the former Liverpool defender of not being fair in his analysis.
“First of all, some analysts are very objective in their comments, (they give) very good advice, others are very subjective,” Ten Hag said.
‘Jamie Carragher has criticized from the first moment and now he wants to make his point clear.
“Probably in the first half hour, yeah, I was right.” Fulham in their midfield prepared a bit in a surprising way and then we have to find the solutions. After half an hour we found the solutions.
Jamie Carragher was very critical of Man United’s defense on Monday Night Football
A five-minute segment of the program showed Carragher questioning the way United were pressing.
United manager Erik ten Hag responded by saying that Carragher has always been critical of his team.
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“I am not satisfied with the performance of the defense, especially on the left side, how we put pressure because they came out, especially in the first half hour, several times on the left side and that cannot happen.
‘That has to do with the will, the spirit, the passion, that in the previous weeks was very good for this team and, for that reason, we won football games.
“I know that footballers are not robots, sometimes they have bad days. But it can’t be, it’s unacceptable, we have to do better tomorrow but in the previous weeks we have done very well. It can’t happen when they have a throw-in, “The way we handle it as a team is not good.”
Speaking on Sky Sports, Carragher was damning in his assessment of United and the way they faced Fulham.
“I want to highlight (Kobbie) Mainoo, who has been fantastic since he arrived,” Carragher said.
“But the problem I have is not a criticism of him, what are his instructions before the game?
“This is straight from the kick-off, not sure whether to close down the holding midfielder or look at the number 10, he’s trapped, straight from the kick-off; you have to know your jobs straight from the kick-off and that’s down to the body technical.
“Twenty seconds into the game against Fulham, Manchester United’s problem all season has been the space between the back four and the midfield.
“We are going to analyze the reason why they are weak defensively and cannot cope with counterattacks, they have no rhythm at the back and they lack legs in midfield.
Carragher used his five-minute analysis on Sky Sports Monday Night Football to focus on Man United’s defense during their 2-1 home defeat to Fulham.
Carragher questioned the tactics both on and off the ball implemented by Ten Hag
“People say ‘there are no playing patterns at Manchester United, how do they play and what is the philosophy?’ I’ll tell you why there are no patterns of play and why they end up on the counterattack, the positions they are in.
“When Varane has the ball, you have your right back, he can’t receive a pass, Mainoo, your central midfielder, is on the last line, that can’t be right, that’s not right.”
“Bruno Fernandes, in the last line, playing as a forward, is the number 10, Victor Lindelof cannot receive the ball, the players cannot receive the ball in the positions they choose.
“There is a big problem for Manchester United when they have the ball… How many times do you see players running 40 meters towards the goal?”