Home ยป Three things we learned as Man United’s misery continues after 3-0 defeat vs. Newcastle

Three things we learned as Man United’s misery continues after 3-0 defeat vs. Newcastle

by Derick Kinoti

Manchester United looked to continue their defence of the Carabao Cup by beating Eddie Howe’s Newcastle at Old Trafford.

Fresh off the back of an embarrassing defeat against Manchester City on Sunday, no doubt Erik ten Hag would have been keen to get his side back to winning ways and in the process, relieve some mounting pressure.

Ten Hag started Andre Onana in goal. In defence, the United boss gave the nod to Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Sergio Reguilon.

Casemiro returned back into the starting XI and slotted next to Hannibal Mejbri and Mason Mount in midfield.

Anthony Martial led the line with Alejandro Garnacho and Antony on either side of the Frenchman. Here are three things we learned from Manchester United’s 3-0 Carabao Cup defeat against Newcastle.

United are extremely poor defensively

The Red Devils demonstrated some control in the early stages of the work but as has been the norm this season, they could only sustain pressure and possession of the ball for roughly 20 minutes before the opposition grew into the game.

Newcastle took some time to get going but when they did, Ten Hag’s men barely had a sniff and primarily played second fiddle.

The Magpies created the most chances and got their reward in the 28th minute when Livramento easily cut through the midfield.

The Newcastle right-back powered through the middle of the park and effortlessly shook off Mount and Hannibal, who were left in his wake.

Livramento then passed the ball to Almiron. Dalot looked to be tracking the Newcastle sub, but the Portuguese defender lost his man who then went through on goal before putting the ball into the back of the net, beyond the reach of Onana.

It was a streak of costly defensive blunders from United which saw Newcastle take the lead.

For the second, Dalot was tricked inside his own box by a rival player who used his pace and tricky feet to bypass the United man.

Ten Hag’s players failed in their objective to clear the ball which landed on the feet of Lewis Hall just outside the box. Hall fired a shot which Onana could not keep out, to give Newcastle a two-goal lead heading into the break.

Newcastle’s third of the match came about as a result of Sofyan Amrabat being harried and dispossessed of the ball.

Willock then let loose a shot into the bottom-right corner to all but seal the win for his side and add to United’s woes.

This term, United have been made to suffer dearly for their laxity and defensive mistakes. These errors were harshly punished by the Toon who were ruthless in their execution.

It’s worrying how easily United are cut open and the number of chances they concede during games. There is simply no cohesion on the pitch and it’s hardly surprising that the backline often finds itself exposed.

Ten Hag has recently been speaking about the need to be pragmatic and direct but such a brand of football requires the team to be defensively compact and solid.

As the Dutchman seeks to stem the bleeding and get his side back to getting results, the defensive structure is an aspect of the game that will need to be addressed urgently.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka barely has a fight on his hands for a starting berth

Wan-Bissaka was the surprise inclusion in the United matchday squad.

The Englishman has not featured for the 20-time English champions since the loss vs. Brighton on September 16.

He returned to training just days ago and it seems he was given a clean bill of health to participate if needed against Newcastle.

Dalot had a nightmare during the 45 minutes he was on the pitch and if there were any doubts about whether Wan-Bissaka’s starting status should be immediately restored, these concerns were put to bed.

In Wan-Bissaka’s absence, Dalot has been decent and has done a relatively good job but against Newcastle, he proved that Wan-Bissaka does not need to do much to be above him in the pecking order.

United in shambles

United have now lost eight of their 15 games across all competitions.

After the City game, questions started being asked of Ten Hag’s tenure in the Old Trafford dugout and just how safe his job really is as the club continues to struggle.

A report covered by The Peoples Person indicated that the board and power brokers within United are still backing the 53-year-old coach.

However, one gets the feeling that he is no longer as bulletproof as he once was – the pitchforks are certainly coming out.

Both at half-time and the final whistle, there were audible boos from the crowd who were clearly exasperated by what they saw.

It did not help that the travelling Newcastle supporters incessantly kept singing “You’re getting sacked in the morning,” in reference to the extreme pressure that is mounting on Ten Hag and his staff.

Amidst rumours of unrest in the dressing room and players not really taking to Ten Hag’s methods, it’s not looking good for the former Ajax manager.

The players look completely short of confidence and lack any drive or desire to do even the most basic things.

The situation on the pitch is just as bad off it, what with the imminent partial investment of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the uncertainty that his overhaul of sporting operations could bring.

United are undoubtedly a club in turmoil and an end to the misfortunes does not seem to be near.

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