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Erik ten Hag hasn’t taken St James’ Park schooling too well

11 months ago

Erik ten Hag isn’t a happy man.

The Manchester United boss and his players second best in every department at St James’ Park on Sunday.

Although I tell a small lie there, as it was impossible to compare the two goalkeepers, due to the fact that Nick Pope didn’t have a shot to save all game (picking up a ‘shot’ that struggled to even reach the Newcastle United keeper does not equal an effort on goal!).

Erik ten Hag and his team very lucky not to be looking at a similar scoreline to the one at Anfield in their previous Premier League away match….

The Man U boss absolutely schooled by Eddie Howe as Newcastle United dominated with tactics, formation and players who absolutely knew their jobs and what had been asked of them.

Erik ten Hag reflecting on the defeat and admitting…

“I said after in the dressing room after the game, ‘It can’t be that the opponent is angrier than we are.’

“This race for the top four is going to be a fight and you can only win that, when you match the desire and passion of the opponent.

“I was surprised we couldn’t match that determination, passion and desire of the opponent.

“When you travel to St James’ Park you know what will be going on.

“Especially after we won the [Carabao] Cup. ]

“If you want to win the big games, you have to be mature, I didn’t see that today on the pitch.

“I don’t think we underestimated Newcastle.

“They play above their levels because they are so eager but you could expect that.

“They were determined to win this game, but you have to match that, be aware of the situation from the start.

“We didn’t enter the final third, the box, too many times of the opponent.

“But they could easily enter our box.

“We have to do much better.

“I think our attacking game was not good enough.

“I don’t want to be focused on one person. It was about the team performance.

“We didn’t break them down.

“In the first half we had a trap on the right side with Antony and Diogo Dalot but on the left we had almost nothing.

“That is the conclusion of the game, today we didn’t create many chances and when we were there, we weren’t determined enough to score a goal.

“That’s the truth.”

Tactical changes and substitutions

“We were not happy as we played too high in the midfield and it was easy for the two Newcastle centre-halves to defend our midfield players, so they had to play a bit deeper.

“Therefore we made the subs, to put Marcel Sabitzer as no.10 and Scott McTominay in a deeper role.

“Then you risk everything [when taking off both central defenders].

“We bring on Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho to get more control in possession, to keep the ball, to get forward.

“So after we are losing the game, you try to save the game, to bring a goal and go one against one at the back. Bring a centre-back in who can defend with space in his back [Victor Lindelof] and bring an extra player in offence with [Facundo] Pellistri.

“It’s normal, in a season you have setbacks, you have to deal with that.

“We did that so many times, recently after Liverpool we came back, so I don’t have that concern.

“I believe in my team and I believe they will bounce back.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle United 2 Manchester United 0 – Sunday 2 April 4.30pm


Newcastle United:

Willock 65, Wilson 88

Man U:

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Man U 54% (48%) Newcastle 46% (52%)

Total shots were Man U 6 (2) Newcastle 22 (11)

Shots on target were Man U 1 (0) Newcastle 6 (3)

Corners were Man U 4 (1) Newcastle 7 (3)

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Attendance: 52,268 (Man U 3,000)

Newcastle United:

Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Bruno, Willock (Anderson 84), Murphy (Gordon 68), Isak (Wilson 80), Saint-Maximin (Joellinton 68)

Unused Subs:

Dubravka, Lascelles, Targett, Manquillo, Ritchie

(Match Report – Our man at St James’ Park – Newcastle United 2 Manchester United 0 – Read HERE)

(BBC Sport comments from ‘neutrals’ – Very interesting on Newcastle United after win against Manchester United – Read HERE)

(Newcastle United 2 Manchester United 0 – The instant NUFC fan / writer reaction – Read HERE)

(United go third! Brilliant performance! Newcastle United 2 Manchester United 0 – Read HERE)


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