Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Nani names two major Man Utd problems Ten Hag needs to solve for Liverpool clash

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United manager, during pre-season training at Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand

Former Manchester United winger Nani has given two reasons why the club lost 4-0 to Brentford, which are issues Erik ten Hag needs to sort out before Liverpool arrive at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils host Jurgen Klopp’s side in the Premier League on Monday at 20:00. It will be an intriguing match after both clubs dropped points in their opening two league games.

Manchester United have lost to Brighton and Brentford, while Liverpool have been held to draws by Fulham and Crystal Palace.

United were particularly bad in the defeat to Brentford. They were outran and outfought at the Brentford Community stadium.

But it wasn’t all the players’ fault. At half time, pundit Jamie Redknapp slammed Ten Hag for playing Christian Eriksen as a central defensive midfielder instead of Fred.

And he questioned the decision to buy Lisandro Martinez. The centre-half stands at just 5ft 8in and therefore struggled in aerial battles against Brentford’s biggest players.

During an appearance on Rio Ferdinand’s Vibe with Five YouTube channel, Nani was asked what went wrong for his former side in west London.

He thinks Ten Hag needs to instil a winning mentality among his players if they are to get back to their best. In terms of coaching, the Dutchman needs to get United to shoot more often, rather than just passing the ball aimlessly around the box.

Nani delivers verdict on Man Utd struggles

“I don’t like to talk too much, I don’t talk about players but you can see there is no hunger, there is no attitude or desire to win in the club,” Nani said (via the Daily Star).

“You have a lot of talented players but they don’t want to get tired. If I had to get sweaty to win, I would. They prefer to not sweat.

“You have talented players in the team with a lot of skills. They can shoot with their right foot and left but last game, no one was shooting at goal. Everyone was passing.”

Nani raises two very good points. United gain confidence when they go 1-0 or 2-0 up against a team. But when they go behind, the players look down and out. Even with stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho, it seems hard to get the players motivated to equalise.

In terms of Nani’s second point, the lack of shooting, you can usually rely on Ronaldo for that. However, there might be some teething problems as the striker gets used to the way Ten Hag wants him to operate.

Even though Liverpool are yet to win this season, United will have to be at their best to overcome Klopp’s men.

After all, last time they went to Old Trafford in the league they came away with an astonishing 5-0 victory.

Mo Salah got a hat-trick in that thrashing of United. The Red Devils will have to stop him to have any chance of winning.

Meanwhile, a top transfer target for United apparently wants to join the club, despite the struggles they are going through.