Admittedly, Erik ten Hag has just arrived, and the Dutch technician will necessarily need time. But the face presented by Manchester United this Saturday has cause for concern. On the move to Brentford (4-0), the most successful club in the country made a fool of itself. Beyond gross individual errors, Harry Maguire and his band, atoned, shone with a glaring lack of personality. The vital prognosis is not yet engaged, but keeping a defibrillator close at hand seems a necessity.
Saturday promises to be a difficult day in England. Main reason: a massive strike by the railway companies which has greatly modified the rail links, and therefore the routes of the supporters. Those of Manchester United certainly did not need that after witnessing the debacle of their proteges on the lawn of Brentford. A scathing 4-0, conceded against a team that was still playing in the Championship fifteen months ago. Height of humiliation: the club with twenty titles of champion of England spent the night in the depths of the red zone. We dare not imagine what Sir Alex Ferguson may have thought of it.
Barely a month ago, United stuck a 4-0 at Liverpool in Thailand, was to augur a comeback. A hope that seems to have already evaporated after two days in the Premier League. Hardly brilliant against Brighton, the red devils hit rock bottom on Saturday. The worst being that if the ship sank, it was largely because it scuttled itself. The disaster began when David De Gea let an almost innocuous shot from Josh Dasilva end up in the back of his net. Approximate in their raises, dripping with feverishness, the players of Erik ten Hag were logically punished by Mathias Jensen, before Ben Mee and Bryan Mbeumo increased the note. Less than 35 minutes of play and 4-0 for the The bees. A banner asking for the departure of the Glazer family then emerged unsurprisingly in the visitor parking lot.
– MUFC Flags and Banners (@mufc_banners) August 13, 2022
The supporters have the merit of reacting, unlike the players. On the meadow, disappointed looks, but no remobilization. The Mancunians are invisible, and not just because their horrible jersey blends in with the color of the pitch at Brentford Community Stadium. “Brentford frustrates them into submission” , analyzes former striker Glenn Murray on the BBC. No sign of pride in sight. On the Canal+ set, the former Red Stan Collymore does not mince his words: ” heartless ” , “no passion” players who “look lost” and one body language the loser. Jamie Carragher does not hesitate to change his profile picture on Twitter by trolling his best enemy Gary Neville, made up as a clown. The metaphor is perfectly appropriate: United put on a ridiculous face. That of an apathetic and pathetic team, unworthy of the immense history of a 144-year-old institution.
—Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) August 13, 2022
United had the “merit” of stopping the bleeding in the second half, and De Gea of regaining goalkeeper reflexes (50e85e). Cristiano Ronaldo has never tried to strike at the slightest opportunity, David Raya will never be worried. And it’s not the head of Christian Eriksen, placed but not powerful enough (67e), which will heat up his pair of gloves. “It’s mediocre, it’s clearadmitted Erik ten Hag at the microphone of Sky Sports. To concede four goals in 35 minutes is not possible. The team must take responsibility. I’m really sorry for the fans. They give everything to support us and we let them down. »
Gary Neville bluntly compared the players on the lawn this Saturday to U9s. “It’s a real performance to spend a billion pounds and be so badhe blurted out. It doesn’t take much to dismantle this Manchester United team. All you need is a little organization, a little fighting spirit, and you’re done. If you manhandle them a bit and score a goal, they’re crumbly like you wouldn’t believe. » And the former side to worry, while Ten Hag is still waiting for reinforcements in the middle and in attack: “If you are a player and you see this first period, do you want to come to this club? »
At the final whistle, shortly before 7:30 p.m. in London, it was one stadium, two atmospheres. On one side, the Brentford players, all smiles, congratulating each other for a long time on the perky air of the tube Hey Jude. On the other, those of United, for whom the title Highway to Hell seemed much more appropriate. The red devils have one certainty: they will be released from Liverpool next Monday as relegated. With a particularly cloudy sky, and the threat of reliving the fiasco of last October. The Theater of Dreams, on the verge of becoming the Theater of Nightmares.
By Quentin Ballue