Manchester United vs Bayern Munich: Scott McTominay comes to Erik ten Hag’s defence

They are already out of the Carabao Cup and are on the brink of elimination from the Champions League group stage. Besides, United have been inconsistent in the Premier League as well.

Manchester United appointed Erik ten Hag as their manager in 2022 summer; Credit: Twitter@ManUtd
By Karthik Raman | Dec 12, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

It has been a tough season so far for Erik ten Hag, with Manchester United struggling massively for consistency. They are already out of the Carabao Cup and are on the brink of elimination from the Champions League group stage. Besides, United have been inconsistent in the Premier League as well. In such a scenario, the pressure is understandably mounting on ten Hag’s shoulders, with the Dutchman’s tactics being criticised by many pundits.

However, Manchester United’s goalscoring midfielder Scott McTominay has come to the defence of his manager. He wants the players to take up equal responsibility. McTominay has played with different managers already in his short time at United in the form of Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick. When asked what’s the share of responsibility of the players to stop this endless cycle, McTominay, quoted on the club’s website, said in his pre-match press conference, “It’s the players’ responsibility, first and foremost. Players know that as well.”

Scott McTominay defends Erik ten Hag

He added: “We’ve had many amazing players over that time and I feel like now we’re at a stage where we’ve got big characters in the dressing room. It’s not a case of like with some of the other managers, when it has been a little bit toxic at times. The boys are firmly behind the manager and that’s the be-all and end-all. I’ve said that in many other interviews and that’s the way it will remain and stay. We’ve got amazing coaching staff as well. People can get lost in translation and get carried away with what the players think and what they say behind closed doors. We just want to do well for the football club, and it’s as simple as that.”

Even though United have been at top in certain matches, they seem to lose control of the game in no time. When asked why does the team keep losing control in matches so quickly, the midfielder said, “As you can see in the Premier League, every team is super-athletic. You go and play in the Champions League and every team can run. A lot of the time you need to match that and more, whenever you play for this football club. That’s been a clear message for us players on the pitch when we are playing, that we need to get together sometimes.”

He added: “The manager can’t do too much whenever he’s on the sidelines, it needs to come from the players and we need to stick together while we are on the pitch as well. As you say, with the ideas we’ve had, sometimes the way we’ve played has been amazing. It’s finding that consistency and that balance where we can continue to do that on a regular basis, with high energy levels. Like the manager says, when we played against Chelsea like that, [it shows] we can do good things.”

Recently, Man United produced a brilliant performance to beat Cheslea 2-1 in the Premier League but there were also poor outings against Newcastle United and Bournemouth. Speaking about the difference in performances, McTominay, ahead of the Champions League fixture against Bayern Munich, said, “Obviously, we know that, we know the inconsistencies we’ve had, we’re not naïve [about] that. I feel like, for us, we’ve spoken about it as a group and with the coaching staff and the schedule is relentless. We can’t blame it on the backlog of fixtures and stuff like that but we have to come together as a group and figure out the reason why we are slightly inconsistent at this moment in time. As you say, the boys are honestly doing everything they can do to contribute and give their best whenever they approach the pitch.”

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