Manchester United suffer another defeat against Nottingham Forest

(CNN) — Manchester United have taken one step forward and two steps back this season, with Erik ten Hag’s side following a thrilling comeback against Aston Villa to suffer another defeat, this time at the hands of relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest.

Once again, one of the most defining features of United’s season to date was the poor defending that allowed Argentina international Nicolas Dominguez to make wide use of space in the box to give Forest the lead in the 64th minute.

Marcus Rashford equalized 12 minutes later after an error by Forest goalkeeper Matt Turner, but Ten Hag’s fragile defense was broken again just four minutes later when Morgan Gibbs-White completed a clever counter-attack to secure a 2-2 to 1 to 3 win. decisive. points in the fight against relegation.

It was United’s second game since British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe struck a deal to buy a 25% stake in the club, and while United’s comeback against Villa on Boxing Day provided some optimism for the future, this Saturday’s defeat quickly showed the enormity of the task ahead. .

David Brailsford, British cycling coach and sporting director of Ratcliffe’s INEOS, was at the City Ground along with legendary United coach Alex Ferguson. No doubt both will leave very disappointed.

According to Opta, United have lost nine of their first 20 games of the season for the first time since the 1989–90 season, which is the same number of league defeats they suffered in the whole of last season.

Gary Neville said Erik ten Hag is under pressure at the moment.  (Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Gary Neville said Erik ten Hag is under pressure at the moment. (Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

After the match, United legend Gary Neville said Manchester United were “back to their worst form”.

“Manchester United are back to what they were: inconsistent and terrible,” he told Sky Sports. “They leave the field as losers. “The United fans behind the goal will leave very disappointed.”

“I don’t quite understand what Manchester United is,” he added. “It’s very difficult to watch. I think everyone recognized that Erik ten Hag did a very good job in his first season.”

“With new ownership, Sir Dave Brailsford will be in the spotlight week in and week out. We will see him appear in the directors’ box.”

“You will see what this club is all about, on and off the pitch. You won’t like what you see now.”

Neville added that United’s season had been “more of a failure than a success” and that some performances under Ten Hag this season had been “well below what should be required at this level”.

United have taken just four points from a possible 15 from their last five league matches, dropping to seventh in the table and nine points behind fourth and final Champions League place Arsenal.

In addition, the team has already been eliminated from the current Champions League, finishing last in the group, which did not pose much of a challenge, and from the League Cup, which leaves the FA Cup as the only opportunity left for the team to win a trophy this season.

United are the only team in the first half of the Premier League with a negative goal difference and only Burnley and Sheffield United, the two worst teams in the league, have scored fewer goals than United this season (22).

Anthony scored a goal in the Premier League in 2023.  (Photo: Molly Darlington/Reuters)

Anthony scored a goal in the Premier League in 2023. (Photo: Molly Darlington/Reuters)

The club spent large sums of money on players Ten Hag wanted in his squad, including Andre Onana and Anthony, but the Dutch coach is no closer to implementing a demanding style of play than when he took the reins at the start of last season.

Brazilian winger Anthony, substituted 10 minutes into the second half against Forest after another poor performance, ends 2023 with one goal in 33 Premier League appearances.

In 21 games and over 900 minutes of action in the Premier League this season, Anthony has zero goals and zero assists. Manchester United is rumored to have paid $109 million for his services.

Neville said the result and performance meant Ten Hag was now “under pressure”.

“There is no doubt about it. Obviously, they will appoint these three positions – the general director, the sports director and the head of personnel – they will all come and the rest will leave,” he said.

“The coach is the one they will think about the most, that always happens at a football club because a coach is not easy to sack. They are not in Europe and are not involved in the League Cup. They need to get their players in shape.” and somehow try to progress towards the Champions League and see where that takes them,” he said.

“But at the moment it seems they are a long way from that and there are six or seven teams who are in better shape than them. It seems like a million miles away.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button