Rio Ferdinand has become the latest pundit to react to the defeat against Brentford from Manchester United, though he has taken a slightly different approach.
There was some terrible defending on show from the Red Devils as they were beaten 4-0 in west London, which saw them drop to the bottom of the Premier League table. Manchester United have lost their first two matches of the season for the first time since the competition was rebranded.
Erik ten Hag’s side were 4-0 down by half time. A combination of awful goalkeeping by David de Gea, dreadful defending from set pieces and being caught on the break meant they endured a torrid first half.
Manchester United did not concede after the break. But they also couldn’t score, which is a similarly worrying sign for Ten Hag.
At the interval, Jamie Redknapp said these weren’t United players, but rather men who have just been thrown on the pitch. He ‘couldn’t believe’ what he witnessed in that half.
And after the match, Gary Neville said it was a ‘new low’ for the club. But they have had plenty of those in the last few years.
Neville also urged the Glazers to fly to Manchester and take some of the pressure off Ten Hag’s shoulders. He said fans need to know what the plan is for the team, as it is certainly not getting any better.
Ferdinand reacted to the shock result on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel. Rather than outright blasting the players, he spoke about what Ten Hag must be thinking right now.
Coach has ‘come under false pretences’ – Rio Ferdinand
“I don’t feel sorry for the players, I feel sorry for Ten Hag,” Rio Ferdinand said. “He is coming under false pretences. He’s coming expecting new signings.
“He’s probably sitting there thinking, ‘I’ve been sold a dummy here. I didn’t know I was coming into this.’ Confidence, I know, was going to be low.
“He knew that but he thought, ‘I’ll be able to rebuild that.’ But obviously the players are not at the standard required. Simple as that.
“Some of the players will sit there and go, ‘that’s out of order, you can’t talk.’ It’s a fact – the results tell you that. This isn’t a result over a month or two, this is a result over a long sustained amount of time.
“You’ve had ample time to kind of lose form and build it back up again and come back and show us your true selves. It ain’t happening.”
Ten Hag gives verdict on loss
After the defeat, Ten Hag said: “It is my responsibility to give an explanation. It is clear the performance was really poor. When you make mistakes like this, you can’t win the game.
“It is about taking responsibility on the pitch, you cannot make such mistakes at our level. We had to deal with the disappointment and bring the belief on the pitch.
“You have to be ready for a game and be ready for the battle as individuals and as a team. We have to push each other and bring the demands in because it is not good.”
Ten Hag will certainly be wondering what he has come into. He probably thought the players would work hard in training to understand his methods. And that they would put in 100 per cent effort when on the pitch.
But that is clearly not happening as Brentford ran rings around them on Saturday.
Back in 2019, Roy Keane said the United players need sorting out as they ‘threw Jose Mourinho under the bus’. There have been some changes to the squad, but clearly not enough as they are threatening to do the same with Ten Hag.