‘Deluded’ Ten Hag must learn ‘real lesson’ from Arteta as ‘big red flag’ at Manchester United named

Editor F365
Manchester United forward Antony and manager Erik ten Hag with Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta
'Big red flag' is one way of describing Antony

Manchester United need to take their medicine like Arsenal did under Mikel Arteta. But ‘deluded’ Erik ten Hag has probably not earned the opportunity to.

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Bank on it
It was a bank holiday evening match, Erik – probably no one noticed.


Just desserts
As someone who has supported Manchester United for nearly 2 decades, I must say last night’s scoreline made me smile. United have been atrocious all season and actually are very lucky that they are still 8th on the table.

It’s time to say adieu to Ten Hag, but this mess is not just his own making but a decade of absolute incompetence in the board room. They deserve thrashings like this until they get their act together. I am only disappointed that they likely will not slide further down the table before the end of the season.
Adeel (Somewhere, Woodward is smiling that at least he did not oversee a season as full of humiliation as this.)


The Man Utd buffet
The only surprising thing about last night’s result is that to me, and several other fans I suspect, the result was not a surprise. The usual football fan pessimism not withstanding, I saw our combative, creative midfield and a team high on confidence against a Man Utd team that had conceded 6 goals in 3 games to Championship sides. I’d said we’d win by a couple.

I’d like to thank Man Utd for inviting us to their all-you-can-eat buffet, hosted by their very welcoming Maitre ‘D, Casemiro. For starters, the no tackle, everyone backing off defending that befuddled Olise’s brain so much, he could only scuff it into the corner  when he was expecting tackles and defenders barring his way, was astonishing to watch. These are premier league players, aren’t they? Olise must have thought the teams had agreed on a walk-in to level up some injustice.

The second, well they just couldn’t deal with the press, even though it has been a feature of the Premier League for a few seasons now, and Evans against a red-hot Mateta? Oh my. Midfield, what midfield?

The second half brought more succulent treats on the menu as we went through what some people insist on calling United’s ‘midfield’ at will, were more creative and fought harder, man for man than every single United player. Apparently we ran 3k more than them, even if ‘canter’ would be a better description.

The thing is, we weren’t even that great. It was a good performance, not a great one, but anyone would look good against that Utd side last night.

On a side note, apparently Antony cost three times what we paid for Olise and Eze combined, or ten times Olise. It’s clear United has myriad problems, but right there is a big red flag about who and how they recruit. Maybe that’s a good place to start.

Finally, a word about their fans. For all the grief they get, United are regularly some of the nosiest away fans at Palace and they were so in patches last night. We’re all about supporting the team no matter what, so to see them cheering their players as if they’d won 4-0 themselves and singing about going to Wembley (where they’ll surely get thrashed again) was quite something after witnessing that dross. Kudos.

👉 Man Utd’s most humiliating Premier League defeats: Liverpool, Balotelli, Keane evisceration, Palace thumping
👉 Man Utd being ‘fixed’ and nine other things we got wrong this season
👉‘Get off the pitch!’ – Carragher slams ’embarrassing’ Man Utd star for post-match antics


The ’74 relegation team was better
I feel sorry for ETH, I really do. He, like many of us, must be perplexed at how his lot cannot even perform the most basic of defensive rules… go to the man with the ball.

This is more fundamental than tactics or passion. It’s not even a question of players downing tools. It is the harsh reality of years of mismanagement and “asset stripping” as the Americans so prosaically put it. The roof leaks, the medical staff is a joke, the facilities are sub-standard, Benni McCarthy is the striker coach ffs! How much effort would you put into such an organization? You’d be looking for the exit too.

What Rangnick forgot to mention was that, not only was open heart surgery required,  gangrene has set in. I am struggling to think of another club in recent memory that has been as poorly run.

Judging by his press conferences, it seems that even ETH has become infected with the virus and he’ll be lucky to make it out of May. Just about every senior player has also received a mortal dose. Perhaps only the Academy graduates are salvageable.

But if ETH does go, then who comes in? Go for a “name” like Zidane who will want to spend millions, or go for a “coach” like Potter will start with even less respect. When MUFC got relegated in 74, we had a better team than this. I don’t think anyone would argue that we are currently the worst team in the Premier League.

Can someone please turn on the “bat signal.” We need help!
Adidasmufc (Maybe it’s time for the pundits to put their money where their mouths have been making a living. Keane as interim manager with Rooney or Owen as striker coaches.)


Get interim
Thoughts on an interim manager:

The fact we’ve developed no playing style concerns me the most – Arteta went in at Arsenal you could see what he was trying to do. Postecoglou at Tottenham the same, Emery at Villa the same yet at United I can’t figure out what the plot is. I understand injuries play a part but not that significantly, Ten Hag can’t be entirely at fault the players can’t be doing what they’re told to do on the pitch. I think he should be honest and come out and say what he genuinely thinks and play some more of the academy players I mean after all, can they do any worse than Casemiro, Eriksen, Antony, AWB, Amrabat, Rashford, Varane the list goes on and on!

A huge fire sale at Old Trafford is needed, it’s time to cut losses on a lot of players for the good of the club.

Toby Nichols


A chance to reset
Throughout the season, well-meaning United fans have used Arsenal and Arteta as the yardstick for why EtH shouldn’t lose his job. “Trusting the process” and all that. I believe that United need to learn the real lesson from Arteta’s first few seasons in charge – accept where you are.

Don’t go out and sign quick-fix or so-called marquee players. Take it slow this time. Accept the finishes outside Europe. Accept the embarrassing cup defeats. Accept the substandard football being served by a zombie squad assembled for a bazillion pounds. accept that the Manchester United that existed pre-2005 is no more.

Accept this and build from there. Actually, build this time, sell players on massive contracts; they evidently don’t deserve it. Be better prepared in the transfer market, stop letting teams catch you with your pants down after you’ve spent years chasing the same player. Start signing profiles to play a hopefully established (through our new footballing team above whatever manager goes/stays) footballing idea.

Just stop pining for the good old days. They’re gone. Finito. Start from where you are or we’ll be waving ta-ra to another manager this time next year.
Emmanuel, Abuja


Ten Hag’s own words damn him
Well that’s that.

After a season in which Man Utd have allowed over 600 shots on goal, scored the least goals of any Utd Premier League Season, conceded the most, and have been exposed as “the worst coached team in the league”, Ten Hag’s post game remarks will surely seal his fate.

In just a couple of weeks he’s stumbled from “this is a process” to “we are the most dynamic team in the league” to “trust in youth” to “we know what we need to do” to “they just don’t listen to me”.

He comes across as deluded, frankly.

So he knows what’s wrong, but can’t right it, he coaches the solution but the players can’t or won’t enact his plan, he has presided over a historically bad season loaded with damning evidence both objective and subjective, and now he is in front of cameras throwing the team under the bus.

There’s no way back from this, is there? Man Utd don’t press, don’t counter, don’t stifle, don’t retain, don’t thrill, don’t have any shape or form.

The sad thing is, with this group of players, once again, there doesn’t seem to be a way forward, either.
Colin, Isle of Wight (formerly Manc)


Saved by a heatwave
Good Lord!!! What could have been a stressful midnight and a sleepless morning turned out to be a good sound sleep and a refreshing morning thanks to the heat wave blowing across my region. Otherwise I would have stayed awake to watch what was another embarrassing and a painful 90+ mins. Against a team lower in the table than us but high on performance and motivation.

I almost watched the match as I was awake till the first minute, around 12.30am in my place, but dozed off and eventually woke up after 2.30 hrs. In the official Utd app, my predictions were us not scoring and losing by 3 goals. Just that Palace scored 4 to spoil it.

I wrote in after the Bournemouth gane that this club needed a Rebirth. That we should keep only the youngsters and put everyone up for sale including Bruno and sack ETH. Almost 5 months after that debacle we are sailing in the same boat only towards a poorer direction. While things are happening in the background, on the pitch nothing seems to be improving. Yes we have so many injuries but how is that a reason for showing poor intent.

Arsenal next, followed by Newcastle and Brighton away, can’t expect to improve on our current position. Luckily the teams directly below us have some tough fixtures so I don’t think we can stoop any lower than 8th.

Wrote all this without having watched a minute of the game. Thoughts are with all the UTD fans who were put through extreme torture and pressure for over 90 mins.
Vasanthan, Coimbatore, TN, India


Palace played too
Dear Football365,

Content warning: there are lots of words below.

I’ve always thought the mark of a good game in any sport is where the result is still in the balance right up until the point where the game is finally won. That was the case in the cricket yesterday as the Thunder beat the Blaze by one wicket. However, then you see your team humiliate Manchester United 4-0 on national television and all of a sudden you find yourself rethinking that theory.

*A couple of weeks ago someone in the mailbox asked why everyone hates Manchester United. Well, hate might be a strong word but the latest example was last night, when a lifelong Manchester United supporter who isn’t from Greater Manchester spent the entire game in a Discord channel refusing to act with any sort of graciousness to what happened. The general thrust of the coverage seems to be through the prism of how bad Manchester United were, without much acknowledgement that sometimes, a team plays badly because the other team force them to play badly. Also, when you’re asked if you can give any sort of compliment and the only thing you can come up with is “your best player is good enough to be in our team”, that, that’s why people hate you. No one likes that person who only praises others by making it all about themselves.

*Crystal Palace are still not at full strength but are slowly getting there. Michael Olise was fit to start having been on the bench last time around, while Marc Guehi was among the substitutes. His introduction in place of Nathaniel Clyne on 78 minutes was the first time Oliver Glasner has been able to field three centre-backs in his back three, although he has regularly praised Clyne’s application in his new role. It’s remarkable what coaching a player does towards improving their abilities, it’s a wonder Manchester United haven’t tried it.

In midfield, Adam Wharton would line up against Kobbie Mainoo in a battle of two midfielders vying for a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad, where they can sit on the bench and learn first hand from Jordan Henderson and Kalvin Phillips.

*It did not take long for Palace to take the lead. Olise received the ball in midfield and evaded Casemiro’s lunge. Moving into space as the Manchester United players stood off him, he dribbled forwards into the box and shot past Andre Onana. It’s easy to criticise the United players for standing off, but diving in would have been just as disastrous.

*Shortly after that, Manchester United had a goal ruled out for a foul on the goalkeeper. They will say it is soft but the laws do not consider force in determining whether something is a foul, only in terms of the punishment. Rasmus Hojlund is looking at the ball but he jumps in to Dean Henderson, knocking him over with something of a hip check. Hojlund is probably undone here by the direction he is facing. It seems unlikely he would genuinely attempt to score a header from that distance facing away from goal, so it looks like he is more interested in challenging the goalkeeper instead of trying to win the ball, therefore it looks like a foul.

👉 Ferdinand has already dismissed brilliant Palace architect who Man Utd and Newcastle both want
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*We can only assume the United players were cry-arsing about this as much as their fans were and that’s why they conceded a second goal. Jean-Philippe Mateta gets behind the midfielders and receives a perfect pass from Chris Richards, before ghosting past former defender Casemiro. Mateta in space running at goal has developed a pleasing habit of unleashing powerful shots the late Cyrille Regis would be proud of and goalkeepers don’t stand a chance. 2-0 at half time, the visitors hadn’t even managed a shot on target.

*The one-way traffic continued after the break but it took almost a quarter of an hour to arrive. Palace patience saw the ball recycled after a corner and Adam Wharton curled a cross to the back post. Joachim Andersen beat Diogo Dalot, who couldn’t even foul him properly, and Tyrick Mitchell became the latest player to take advantage of Casemiro no longer being a defender and prod home.

*Determined not to have “being rattled by Will Hughes” as the most embarrassing moment of his career, Casemiro capped things off by being at fault for the fourth goal too. Mateta couldn’t quite execute a cow pass round him, but as he dribbled the ball towards the corner, Daniel Munoz closed him down and eased him off the ball, before laying it off to Olise, whose curling shot found the back of the net.

*This was Palace’s first ever league double over Manchester United, and an entirely deserved win. It was a fantastic performance, from a team committed to ensuring supporters enjoy the football. Glad All Over is the perfect song for the moment.

*Glasner’s Palace have taken 18 points from 11 games. This ratio extrapolated over the whole season so far (36 games) would put them on 62 points, or 5th ahead of Tottenham Hotspur. This is at once a very Palace sense of what might have been, and very Spursy in the sense of being one of three teams to actually beat the Eagles since Glasner took over, but still not actually being quite as good as them in this imagined scenario.
Ed Quoththeraven


Time to move on
So Moyes’ departure has finally been confirmed. I’m a ST holder at The Dome and I sit somewhere on the fence with Moyes in general. I’m more positive about him than many others are; with managers and players I tend to reserve criticism for when they actually do start being consistently rubbish rather than making up scenarios in my head (I’m also Pro-Southgate on that note).

For much of this season I’ve pointed to the fact that we’re in the top half; that things were generally really very fun up until New Years; that playing with a small squad ensures that the starting players are always very dialled in; he’s brought through two great youngsters in Rice and Johnson; that reactive football can actually be great fun when it works. That WAS the case for a good while, but now it is no longer the case.

– We are 9th but mathematically can finish as low as 14th, and with us still to play City and with Palace and Bournemouth (more on them later) breathing down our necks, I would be amazed if we do finish top half.

– Since the turn of the year we’ve won 4 games (in all comps, 3 in the prem which relied on JWP scoring from a corner and a VAR decision that broke Gary O’Neil). We went out of the cup to a very average Championship team.

– The small squad got smaller after selling getting rid of Benrahma, Fornals and Kehrer, leaving the few remaining players completely knackered.

– He never makes subs, and when he does he’ll bring on oldies that are leaving soon such as Cresswell and Ings.

– We won the FA Youth Cup last year (5-1 vs Arsenal in the final), with one stand out performer being Mubama who is very much in the Antonio mould. But those kids have been given a combined 70 first team mins this season.

– The reactive football that was so fun due to its effectiveness is no longer effective. We’ve conceded 70 goals so far, which is Moyes’ worst ever total, and is our joint worst ever total with two games to go (again, one vs City). We never used to lose by huge margins in the first few years, but we’ve shipped 5+ five times this season (including to Fulham and Palace).

He HAS been responsible for our best moments in a generation. He DID deliver us a trophy and I still go and rewatch those highlights at least once a fortnight. He HAS had us playing a gritty, determined, street-fighter brand of football. But just as his contract was coming up for renewal, all of that has stopped. David Sullivan is of course a massive idiot, but even he isn’t idiotic enough to give the keys to a man who’s stopped being able to do his job properly.

We’re told to “be careful what you wish for” and to know our place, largely by fans of the Super League 6 who mainly just pluck their team out their backside as a kid, just because we’re after something slightly better in exchange for our season ticket money. No one said the same of Conte leaving Spurs, or of any of the thousands of managers that Chelsea and Utd chew up and spit out. And to look more around ‘our level’, no one has said it of Palace, of Bournemouth, of Brighton (or at least they’re not anymore).

With all things considered, despite things being great last season and the start of this one, you have to make decisions on the present, not the past.

If Arsenal were allowed to move on from Wenger, then we’re allowed to want to move on from Moyes. If Leicester City were allowed to move on from Ranieri months after he delivered the greatest ever moment in English football, then West Ham are absolutely allowed to want to move along David Moyes.


I just read your bit about him …… possible sack if he doesn’t wake up! I agree, I don’t think he has the knowledge or experience at this level and he’s unable to try anything other than Plan A!

He plays Bissouma no matter how bad he is and never looks at anything else! Playing WBs is fine if you play a back 3 but he plays a back 2! Crazy crazy crazy!

I would’ve never wanted an ex chelscum manager again but I’d have Poch or Tuchel or Potter over Poste!


That’s the way the biscuit crumbles
In response to Eric, Los Angeles CA, I feel that on behalf of the host nation of the Premier League, I must inform you that biscuits mean a hard ‘cookie’, not some sort of savoury scone that accompanies what Americans call ‘gravy’. The analogy works a lot better with the intended type of biscuit.
Rob (getting to the heart of the things that matter most), Suffolk.