In the last Champions League game away to Galatasaray, Andre Onana was again at fault for some of the goals conceded by Manchester United.
Erik ten Hag got his ball-playing goalkeeper in the summer after Andre Onana arrived from Inter Milan. However, it has not been anything like smooth sailing for the shot-stopper at Old Trafford. Onana has made some uncharacteristic errors for Manchester United, particularly in the Champions League. Those mistakes have proven costly, as the club is on the brink of elimination from the competition in the group stage.
In the last Champions League game away to Galatasaray, Andre Onana was again at fault for some of the goals conceded by Manchester United, as the Red Devils twice threw away a two-goal cushion to settle for a 3-3 draw. That has prompted with the goalkeeper receiving plenty of criticism from various corners. However, Erik ten Hag has come to the defence of Onana ahead of facing Newcastle United in the Premier League.
“If you analyse it well, then you will see he is the second-best goalkeeper in the Premier League, based on stats. His expected defence on goal is the second best in the Premier League. So yeah, he is doing well, but also he knows that, in the Champions League, he has had made some mistakes. But, overall, in the first five months, he is doing particularly well,” ten Hag, quoted on the club’s website, said in the pre-match press conference.
The manager was further asked how Onana’s confidence is currently after the high-profile mistakes he made. “You know also because you have seen how he is reacting after a bad performance, like he did after Munich. Then after, against Burnley, he was outstanding. He is a strong character, a personality and he will deal with it,” he elaborated.
One of the biggest positives for Manchester United in recent games is the form of Kobbie Mainoo. The youngster has looked sharp in their last two games – away to Everton and Galatasaray. When asked what things the manager must take into consideration before deciding whether to put in an 18-year-old on the pitch. Ten Hag replied, “If he is ready or not. And he showed, on Sunday, he was ready. Then we have to manage three games in six days to get the best results in all of those games.”
He added: “We have more than 11 players and we have good options there, like Sofyan [Amrabat], who also showed [that] as he played a very good game. We have many options but we have to manage the load of the players. It is also about freshness as well.” Speaking about what he liked about Mainoo, ten Hag said, “His scanning, it always looks like he has time. Because of his scanning, he is running free and the scanning to see the options and then make the right decisions. He can delay, he can speed up and he makes the right decisions.”
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