Manchester United’s dismal start to the Premier League campaign continued on Saturday with a shock 4-0 defeat at the hands of Brentford.
The humiliating loss sees United at the bottom of the standings after two games, and manager Erik ten Hag already knows that he has a huge job ahead with the club.
With the transfer window closing in just over two weeks, new signings should be top priority for the Dutch tactician, and he is said to be desperate for at least three more arrivals.
One of them should be Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot. With personal terms left to be finalised, Ten Hag is hopeful that the club can secure his services before the Liverpool game next Monday.
Another midfielder and forward are also prime targets for the manager. A fee has been agreed with Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong, but the 25-year-old has yet to be convinced to join them.
The Red Devils may need to move on from the Dutchman with suggestions that the Netherlands star prefers a move to Chelsea if he were to leave the Catalan giants before the deadline.
The horrendous showing at Brentford was expected to trigger some kind of response from Ten Hag. It was not surprising that he cancelled Sunday’s day-off for an extra round of training.
Brentford outran the Red Devils by 13.8km on Saturday. The 52-year-old ordered his players to cover a similar distance. Whether that has any impact on future displays remains to be seen.
Ten Hag has built his reputation on playing an attacking brand of football with high intensity. It will take some time to adapt, but the club can’t afford further slip-ups this early into the season.
The Dutchman will certainly want more minutes on the training pitch this week as a defeat to Liverpool next would put the club’s season in jeopardy after just three games into the campaign.
After unconvincing displays against Brighton and Brentford, the Red Devils face a difficult challenge ahead with arch-rivals Liverpool making the trip to Old Trafford on August 22.
There has already been much talk about a potential protest against the Glazers. This should only increase the pressure on the players ahead of what has already become a must-win game.
United could easily find themselves seven points adrift of the top four if they succumb to a third-straight loss. Ten Hag will be hoping that his players can produce a strong response.
They have started poorly in the first half of matches this term with no defensive cohesion. A similar repeat against the Reds next Monday could end up in another heavy defeat.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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