Erik ten Hag, who had criticized Manchester United after their 3-2 loss to Arsenal, changed his tone and said he was pleased with the team’s overall defense this year.
With Eddie Nketiah’s late victory at Emirates Stadium on Sunday, United now trail the Gunners by 11 points in the Premier League standings.
Ten Hag deemed United’s defensive mistakes “unacceptable” following that defeat.
Ten Hag clarified that when he said he was pleased with his team’s overall defensive efforts, he was referring specifically to goal-line defense, though there are still some things to work on.The EFL Cup semifinal first leg is against Nottingham Forest.
“I think we defended extremely well in a number of games; we had a lot of clean sheets,” Ten Hag stated.
“We defended really well against Manchester City [in United’s recent 2-1 victory at Old Trafford]. I believe that we played solid defense overall, including against Arsenal.
They didn’t have many clean shots, and the one I do recall came from a free-kick. The remaining shots, however, were long-range attempts with numerous defenders in the way of the goal.
When I claimed that all goals were avoidable and impossible to achieve, I really meant that. That was my main point: It is very difficult to win a top-level game when you allow three goals.
“Since that is what actually occurred, one inference is that. It is not possible. We came to that conclusion, and now we must reflect on and apply this lesson.
Diogo Dalot, Jadon Sancho, and Anthony Martial were all ruled out of the Forest match by Ten Hag, who also discussed the value of trophy victories as United looks to end a trophy drought that has lasted since May 2017.
During his tenure as Ajax’s manager, the 52-year-old won three Eredivisie championships, two KNVB Cups, and a Johan Cruyff Shield. He stated: “It’s about that; it’s about winning trophies.”
“That is what truly happened; thus, one conclusion is that. It cannot be done. We came to that conclusion; now we must consider and put this lesson into practice.
As United seeks to end a trophy drought that has persisted since May 2017, Diogo Dalot, Jadon Sancho, and Anthony Martial were all disqualified from the Forest game by Ten Hag, who also talked about the importance of trophy victories.
The 52-year-old manager of Ajax was successful while in charge, winning three Eredivisie titles, two KNVB Cups, and a Johan Cruyff Shield. He declared: “It’s all about that and getting awards.”