Manchester United are crippled by a lack of athleticism as too many of Erik ten Hag’s players ‘can’t run or won’t run’, says Chris Sutton on Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off’
- Manchester United were hammered 3-0 at Old Trafford by City on Sunday
- Chris Sutton believes Erik ten Hag’s players lack athleticism
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast It’s All Kicking Off!
Chris Sutton has pinpointed a lack of athleticism as one of Manchester United’s biggest issues, claiming some of Erik ten Hag’s players ‘can’t run’ and ‘won’t run’.
Problems are mounting for the Dutchman whose side lost 3-0 at home to Manchester City on Sunday, barely laying a glove on the Premier League champions in the process.
United have lost half of their 10 league matches so far this season and are marooned in eighth place on the table, 11 points behind league leaders Tottenham and eight behind fourth-placed Liverpool.
Sunday’s display was a stark reminder of the gulf in quality between United and City, one which Sutton believes was exacerbated by a lack of effort off the ball.
‘A lot is made about their lack of athleticism,’ he said on the latest episode of Mail Sport’s It’s All Kicking Off! podcast with Ian Ladyman.
Chris Sutton has pinpointed a lack of athleticism as one of Manchester United’s biggest issues
Sutton (right) claimed too many of Erik ten Hag’s players ‘can’t run’ or ‘won’t run’
Your browser does not support iframes.
‘Athleticism. They have players in that team who can’t run and they have players in the team who won’t run. And that is an issue.’
Sutton argued the lack of dynamism and effort afflicting United wouldn’t be tolerated at other top Premier League clubs.
‘If these players played for Pep [Guardiola], [Jurgen] Klopp or for [Ange] Postecoglou, they wouldn’t pick them.
‘If you don’t run, then you don’t play. And, you know, essentially, that’s such a basic thing in football. But ten Hag has been in charge long enough now where that’s on him.’
According to data provided by Opta, United have covered 1,122 kilometres in the Premier League so far this season, the seventh-highest tally in the league and slightly of City’s 1,119km.
Newcastle and Tottenham have both covered 1,129km each, just ahead of Arsenal with 1,123km.
Surprisingly, second-bottom Burnley have run the furthest in the Premier League, covering 1,160km, followed by Everton and Brentford with 1,138 and 1,132.
By comparison, only six teams have covered less ground than Liverpool’s tally of 1,088.
Antony and Lisandro Martinez are United’s only two outfield players to have run less per game than Marcus Rashford so far this season in the Premier League
Only Scott McTominay has run further than Christian Eriksen per game this season
No team has covered more ground in the Premier League than Burnley this season
Scott McTominay has run the furthest of any United players this season, covering an average of 12.6km per game in the Premier League, just ahead of Christian Eriksen with 12.5km.
Bruno Fernandes and Rasum Hojlund both covered an average of 11.5km per 90 minutes, just ahead Sofyan Amrabat with 11.4km.
All five players started the defeat against City, as did Marcus Rashford, who has covered an average of 9.6km per Premier League match this season.
Antony and Lisandro Martinez are United’s only two outfield players to have run less per game than the England striker so far this season.
With the exception of the first half against Tottenham and the win over Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup, United have been lethargic out of the blocks in every game this season.
The malaise has hardly dissipated over the 90 minutes, with United ponderous in possession and struggling to create chances.
Ten Hag’s men have scored just 11 league goals this season, the lowest return of any team in the top-12. Erling Haaland alone has scored as many league goals as United so far.
Ten Hag admitted it’s impossible for his United side to play like his successful Ajax team
And the Dutchman candidly admitted it’s impossible for his United side to play like his successful Ajax team.
‘We will never play the football we played at Ajax here,’ he told ViaPlay after the derby defeat.
‘I now have other players, that’s not why I came here.’
‘The player material you have determines how you will play. That’s why we play here in a different way than I did at Ajax. That will have to be the case, because I can’t play the same way here.
IT’S ALL KICKING OFF!
It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.
It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.
Your browser does not support iframes.
Source: Read Full Article