The aftermath of Manchester United’s disheartening 3-0 loss to Manchester City on Sunday revealed a new dynamic within the team, as players began to question the tactics employed by manager Erik ten Hag, reports The Sun.
Following the derby defeat at Old Trafford, Ten Hag didn’t hold back in the dressing room, but the players didn’t hold back either during the post-match inquest.
Some of the Red Devils’ stars found themselves perplexed by certain tactical choices. One point of contention was the decision to deploy Swedish international center-back Victor Lindelof as a left-back against Manchester City, while summer loan signing Sergio Reguilon was left on the bench.
Manchester United is currently dealing with absences, notably Luke Shaw and Tyrrell Malacia, and Ten Hag brought in Reguilon to address the situation. However, Reguilon’s inclusion only occurred in the 73rd minute, by which time the visitors were already leading 2-0.
Additionally, the players couldn’t grasp why Bruno Fernandes was positioned on the right wing, especially against such formidable opposition. This decision raised eyebrows, as it’s widely recognized that the Portugal international is less effective as a winger and prefers to operate in his preferred No. 10 role.
Nonetheless, Fernandes continued in this unfamiliar position until the 86th minute when Antony replaced Christian Eriksen.
In the midfield base, Sofyan Amrabat partnered with Scott McTominay but was substituted at half-time for Mason Mount, who didn’t offer a significant improvement.
Marcus Rashford also had an off day, and the Old Trafford crowd cheered when he was substituted for Anthony Martial with just four minutes remaining.
The players, in large part, found themselves bewildered by certain tactical decisions made by the manager and didn’t hold back in expressing their concerns.
Manchester United has had a rocky start to the 2023-24 season, losing five of their opening ten league games. If they aim to secure a top-seven finish this season, a significant improvement will be required.