Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has slammed his players for “not doing their jobs” during their narrow 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest last week. The Dutchman has warned his stars that they must be much improved if they are to get a result away to Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.
United conceded twice in the opening four minutes at home to Forest last weekend. They completed the turnaround when Bruno Fernandes tucked away a 76th-minute penalty after the visitors went down to 10 men.
Ten Hag was not happy with the way his attackers pressed from the front or how his side’s defensive structure was cut apart so easily.
Ten Hag said: “One of the reasons why I was not pleased was because the front and back didn’t do their jobs. We got stretched and we have to improve that. We have to be more compact otherwise you can never counter-press. I had a problem with how the defence moved and I had a problem with the response in the defensive transition of our offensive players.
“It is definitely attitude. You improve by being demanding and matching standards. That is what I demand. Last year they showed they can do it in almost every game – and I expect it even more. We can’t make we can’t make compromises because then you become vulnerable and you don’t win games.”
Ten Hag expanded on his philosophy further during an interview with Sky Sports. He added: “To keep a game under control, to dominate an opponent, the pressing has to be right.
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“It does not always have to be higher up the pitch. There will be moments when you can be lower, really low. Our team has the ability then also to be a threat.
“But in my approach I want to always be able to give the fans something. We want to dominate opponents, we want to play proactive football, we want to play dynamic football. Pressing is a part of it. The in-possession stuff also has to be right.”
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