Carragher slams ‘stale’ Man Utd and compares Erik ten Hag to Rafa Benitez in damning account

Harry Watkinson
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher on punditry duties
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher on punditry duties

Manchester United’s style of play under Erik ten Hag has been described as ‘stale’ by Jamie Carragher, with the Red Devils struggling for form.

Man Utd have picked up 15 points from nine Premier League games so far this season, leaving them five points adrift from the top four.

It isn’t the start that their supporters would have wanted, who are keen to see their team kick on from their League Cup-winning campaign in 2022/23.

The additions of Mason Mount, Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojlund haven’t had the desired impact yet, but Man Utd do still have time to turn their season around.

Carragher, however, has suggested that Ten Hag might not be the best manager for them, stating that ‘symptoms of regression are visible’ in Man Utd’s performances so far this term.

“Manchester United resemble a team reaching the end of a cycle, not one still rebuilding under a relatively new manager,” Carragher wrote in his latest column for The Telegraph. 

READ MORE: Chelsea tracking Man Utd, Liverpool linked Ligue 1 ace as Pochettino eyes long-term Chalobah upgrade

“Despite winning their last three games, the football is stale and the symptoms of regression are visible; there is a lack of style and panache, few of Erik Ten Hag’s signings are consistently performing, and players such as Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay – who the manager was willing to discard last summer for the right price – are back in favour.

“United are in an unfulfilling holding pattern, seeking to eke out results and get by before their next refresh.”

Carragher also compared the Ten Hag era at Man Utd to two Liverpool teams he played in under Gerard Houlier and Rafa Benitez, claiming the Red Devils are ‘relying on ‘moments’ rather than earning results with good team performances.

“Watching United’s victory against Copenhagen in midweek, the game reminded me of Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez’s final year at Liverpool, where it felt we were trying to find ways to win despite our general lack of quality, relying on ‘moments’ rather than brilliantly choreographed team patterns,” Carragher added.

“The matches were dull and the supporters restless as they could see how quickly rivals were upgrading as we first stood still and then regressed on the back of a couple of poor transfer windows. Everything felt like a grind.”

Ten Hag will hope Man Utd can get a result against rivals Manchester City on Sunday. If they don’t, pressure will only continue to mount on the former Ajax head coach.

DON’T MISS: Dictionary365: M is for Maddison, Maguire, Manchester City, Manchester United, Mercurial and Messi