Rooney claims Ten Hag directed ‘massive insult’ at Man Utd players in Arsenal post-match interview

Joe Williams
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag walks through the rain after losing to Arsenal.

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag aimed a “massive insult” at his players during his post-match interview after defeat to Arsenal, according to Wayne Rooney.

Leandro Trossard scored the only goal of the game as the Gunners ran out 1-0 winners at Old Trafford on Sunday with Mikel Arteta’s side taking the Premier League title race until the final day.

The defeat leaves Man Utd eighth in the Premier League having only one once in their last eight league matches and could now miss out on Europe altogether.

Ten Hag, who is under intense pressure, praised his players for what felt like a much-improved display against Arsenal, he told Sky Sports in his post-match interview: “We can face them [the fans], but on Monday we definitely couldn’t face them.

“But you see the fans are behind us and they fought with us against Palace. Today, we gave that back but that should be the standard in any game.”

When asked what was key to their improved performance, the Man Utd boss replied: “Ah, that’s attitude.

“It starts always with the right attitude and that is what you have to build during the week and on match day you have to be spot on.

“Today we did and then you see that even when we miss seven potential starting XI players, we are competitive with one of the best teams in the league.”

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And Rooney, who is the club’s all-time record goalscorer, reckons Ten Hag’s players should be insulted by the Dutchman’s suggestion that Man Utd players have had a poor attitude and desire in recent weeks.

“I think anyone who is Manchester United manager is under pressure because obviously it is a huge club,” Rooney said.

“When you’re losing games in the way they’re losing games at the minute, there’s going to be big questions asked.

“I said this a few weeks ago, I think the players have to really look at themselves because when you’ve got your manager doing his interview and he’s talking about attitude and players’ attitude not being right to play for Manchester United, that is a massive insult.

“If I see my manager saying that then there is no way I’d just let that ride and ride until the end of the season.

“It looks like some players are just trying to get to the end of the season so I feel for him in that way.

“But ultimately it’s his job to make sure that the players are right.”

Casemiro has been forced to play at centre-back in recent weeks but Rooney criticised the Man Utd man for being “lazy” and “naive” in the build up to Trossard’s goal.

“He’s obviously shown that he’s a midfield player and he’s not a natural centre-back,” Rooney added.

“As we said at half-time, once Manchester United want to play this way, whether you’re a midfield player or a centre-back, you have to be ready to push out with the rest of the team because, if not, you play everyone onside and get punished.

“It was maybe a bit naive, there’s not really angle anyway for [Andre] Onana to get the ball to him. But then he has to push out and it’s lazy. It’s lazy, he’s lazy.

“The rest of his team-mates have pushed out and they get caught by it.

“And even defending the space, he’s not aware of any players around him and then Trossard comes in and gets an easy goal.”

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