The Manchester United fans appeared to boo at Erik ten Hag when he decided to substitute Rasmus Hojlund against Manchester City, with Sergio Reguilon coming on in his place
Manchester United vs Manchester City in pictures
Considering he cost over £70million, has failed to score in seven Premier League appearances and gave away the penalty that sent Manchester City on their way to a bloodless victory, Rasmus Hojlund remains a popular young man at Old Trafford.
When he was hooked just after 70 minutes of as one-sided an elite match as you are likely to see, the jeers for Erik ten Hag were loud, if brief. The booing was as much about the principle as the change in personnel. Two-nil down so let’s take off the centre-forward.
Ten Hag is being given time but he is hardly winning hearts and minds amongst Manchester United fans. Sure, he has some injuries and felt compelled to field a back-line that probably would have settled for conceding only three.
But this is a United side devoid of identity, devoid of serious attacking intent, devoid of personality, devoid of a plan, devoid of creativity. Even against the humdrum, mid-table teams, they play on the counter-attack. In their so-called Theatre of Dreams, it has become the norm but it should never be acceptable.
This was embarrassing. The sight of Antony wildly hacking at Jeremy Doku in the dying embers of this non-contest was an insult to the jersey. They paid £82million for this character. Unbelievable.
It really is hard to know where to start when documenting United’s shortcomings but Hojlund’s predicament sums up the absence of any coherent thinking in the club’s recruitment department.
There is every chance he will turn out to be a decent player but if you have that sort of money in your pocket and are crying out for a proven scorer, why spend it on rawness and potential?
Two more Ten Hag signings, Sofyan Amrabat and Mason Mount, played a half each and in a straight head-to-head battle to see who could have the least impact, it was a dead heat. And under Ten Hag, too many established talents are losing their way or, worse, look to be losing interest.
Exhibit A is Marcus Rashford, a player who has had more good games for England this year than he has for his club. Rashford also did not see out this humiliation which ended with United players surrounding the referee. For what reason? Who knows? But then again, no-one knew what United were doing for most of the afternoon.
No wonder they jeered. Much more of this and Ten Hag’s problem will be a lot more serious than risking a jeer or two for dragging off a striker. His job is not under threat … but his reputation is.
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