Erik ten Hag blamed the players, not the plan, after Manchester United’s disastrous 4-0 defeat at Brentford.
United are already in full-blown crisis mode, having trailed four at half-time through a mix of defensive ineptitude and Brentford opportunism.
Goalkeeper David De Gea handed the first two to Josh Dasilva and Mathias Jensen, Ben Mee helped him to a third and Bryan Mbeumo batted a smooth fourth in a chastising afternoon for the visitors.
The defeat means Ten Hag is the first manager to lose each of his first two games as Manchester United manager since John Chapman in 1921.
It also left United at the bottom of the top flight for the first time in more than three decades and Ten Hag questioned the hunger of its players.
“For one thing, Brentford were hungrier and for another, we conceded goals with individual errors,” said Ten Hag.
“You can have a good plan, but then you throw the plan in the trash.
“I think it has nothing to do with tactics. The first two goals are about handling the ball and making decisions.
“I think they follow my orders, but they make bad decisions. This is football, it’s a game of mistakes and we were punished.
“If the results are like that, I can imagine (how the fans feel). It’s not good that we show that clearly and we have to change that. As a team and as individuals, we need more hunger on the pitch.”
De Gea let Dasilva’s long-range shot slip through his fingers for the first goal and five minutes later, trying to play from defense as Ten Hag demanded, allowed Jensen to score the second.
“He didn’t have to let go of the ball there because we gave options and the players had to choose,” stressed Ten Hag. “We said, ‘Invite them in and play a long time.’
“I’m confident he can do it – and for the second goal, ok. He showed that in training and in the first few games.
“I don’t want to play from behind if it’s not possible. It was naive how we played today. You have to play more directly. At this level it is clear that this is not the standard we want to act by.”
Cristiano Ronaldo started and finished the game but Ten Hag still brought on three players at half-time, Luke Shaw, Fred and summer new signing Lisandro Martinez.
“I substituted three, but I could have changed them all,” he said. “We wanted to inject some fresh energy into the game, not specifically those who came on because I don’t think that’s being honest with them.”
Mee ended up in the third round when United failed to handle a corner before Ivan Toney scored the goal of the game for attacking partner Mbeumo.
“It was a very good performance overall, I don’t think teams in the Premier League often win 4-0, especially against Manchester United,” said Bees coach Thomas Frank.
“This group of players keeps showing me how good they are together. I don’t think it was a 4-0 win, but it was a clear, deserved win.
“We deserve a huge amount of recognition. That was definitely one of our top performances here.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/erik-ten-hag-david-de-gea-brentford-bees-ben-mee-b2144644.html Man Utd players scrapped my plan, claims Ten Hag after Brentford slam