Former Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan has blamed Erik ten Hag for a ‘disjointed’ Red Devils performance in a 3-1 defeat to Brighton.
The loss at Old Trafford sees Man Utd drop to 13th in the Premier League table – trailing league leaders Manchester City by nine points.
Ten Hag has come under fire for his team’s performances. A number of problems are bubbling behind the scenes, too, such as the ongoing Jadon Sancho saga.
Phelan believes that there was too much rotation from Man Utd’s players against Brighton, which allowed the Seagulls to expose them.
“It was disjointed,” Phelan told Stadium Astro. “They looked as though they were setting up in a certain way of playing. I thought there was a lot of rotation, which exposed them to the strengths of Brighton, which was to play through the middle.
“They played through the middle, get it out wide and go again in the final third. They executed their gameplan perfectly. United have some lessons to learn, they need to have a good look at themselves and see where they can improve.
“In the attacking area, obviously they need to score goals, but in midfield and defence they need to tighten up.
“There’s a lot of players starting in certain positions, but then they get caught up in the game and open up space for the opposition to play.
“Teams are working them out and how to expose them. Bring them on, play through them, play beyond them and chances will come.”
Ten Hag admits poor results ‘bother’ him
Man Utd boss Ten Hag said after the Brighton game that he is satisfied with the amount of chances that his team are creating but admits a lack of positive results is starting to ‘bother’ him.
When asked about Man Utd’s poor run of form, Ten Hag said: “Definitely that is something that bothers me. But also I have to see the way we play.
“But finally it’s about character then. Now we have to see how strong we are, how the team sticks together and which players are standing up and showing the character and leading the team.
“Because in all the games, all the games but especially the games today, against Arsenal and Forest, we have seen we can play very good and we can create a lot of chances.
“But, yes, there are also some improvements to make. That is definitely the case and now we have to step up.”