Ex-Man Utd star claims ‘lack of respect’ between Ten Hag and players ‘taking any excuse to bottle it’

Will Ford
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag shouts at his players during a match.

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Tim Howard believes there’s a “lack of respect” from the players for manager Erik ten Hag.

United fell to their sixth Premier League defeat of the season on Saturday having been entirely outplayed by Newcastle at St James’ Park.

The 1-0 loss leaves the Red Devils five points off the top four and they also look likely to be eliminated from the Champions League, as they need to beat Bayern Munich in their final group game and hope Copenhagen vs Galatasaray ends in a draw to secure qualification for the last 16.

There have been a number of reports in the last few weeks hinting that Ten Hag may have lost the dressing room, and Howard believes his public fallings out with players this season suggests a “lack of respect”.

“Players will take any excuse to bottle it, they’ll take any excuse to say it’s not my fault,” the American said on NBC.

“And at United, it’s been that way for a very long time. We’ve spoken to Bruno Fernandes, twice, and he told us, straight up, he’s [Ten Hag] a disciplinarian, he wants us to be on time, he wants us to do what he says.

“And we thought ‘oh wow, we kind of like this guy’. We sat back we watched and listened how are you going to handle this monumental situation that is Cristiano Ronaldo – he handled it well.

“But since then he’s fallen out with Varane, Maguire, Rashford, Sancho, Martial. And I’m thinking I’ve played for teams under Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes, big personalities.

“You know, they have one or two example-making moments and then everyone else falls in line.

“They don’t continually fall out with players. So I think there’s a lack of respect there.”

United face Chelsea next, at Old Trafford on Wednesday, as they look to put the Newcastle defeat behind them and attempt to ease the pressure on Ten Hag.

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