Ten Hag Criticizes Manchester United Players for Lack of Effort in Spurs Defeat


Ten Hag was visibly upset with how his team succumbed to Tottenham’s intense pace in the second half of their 2-0 defeat last weekend. This disappointing performance marked their second lackluster showing in a row, following a narrow 1-0 victory against Wolves in their Premier League opener.

“It’s not just about the midfield. It’s about both ends of the field. That’s why we were vulnerable,” Ten Hag expressed. When asked to elaborate on why the team appeared so sluggish, he further explained, “There were moments when they didn’t put in the effort or ran at the wrong times, too late. Especially the front players didn’t recover well. These things happen, and once they do, it’s tough to reverse. But at this club, there’s an expectation that you give your all if you want to win.”

Reflecting on the initial part of the game, Ten Hag highlighted, “In the first 35 minutes, we were excellent and completely controlled the match. We should have scored at least once, probably twice. They were nowhere, not a threat. Then the dynamics changed during the game, and they lost focus, neglecting their duties. It’s unusual from this team because they usually give their all. The Manchester United standard is to perform for the entire 90 minutes, every single game, no matter what.”

Ten Hag demanded a strong comeback in their upcoming match against Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford. “I made it clear to them, I provided the feedback that this isn’t acceptable,” the Dutch coach asserted. “We need to function as a cohesive unit, standing together. Every individual has to step up and take responsibility.”

When asked about the players’ capacity to shoulder responsibility and handle criticism, the United manager responded, “Absolutely. We’re in this together. I’m accountable too. We need to work collectively, acknowledging that our first two performances weren’t up to par, but we did manage to win one.” He also expressed support for Bruno Fernandes, who faced backlash after the Tottenham game due to his appeals for a penalty and his post-match comments.

“Of course, I stand by him, and I think he has the right to make his voice heard,” Ten Hag affirmed. “It was a valid penalty claim, so expressing it is understandable. However, it’s important not to get distracted by it. Maintaining focus on your role is crucial. Bruno is an inspiration and a role model for the team. He’s got the character for it, which makes him an excellent captain.”

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