Jamie Redknapp claims ‘someone needs to take responsibility’ for Manchester United’s first-half mauling at the hands of Brentford on Saturday. The former Liverpool and England midfielder also slammed two of Erik ten Hag’s decisions as the Dutchman endured a nightmare start to the game in West London, watching on from the sidelines as the team conceded four goals in quick succession.
United’s nightmare afternoon was up and running inside 10 minutes as Josh Dasilva’s shot from the edge of the box slithered through David De Gea’s grasp and into the net. A tame attempt to pass out from the back was then pounced on by Brentford with Christian Eriksen at fault as Mathias Jensen doubled the home side’s lead.
Red Devils new boy Lisandro Martinez was then overpowered from a corner as Ben Mee towered above him at the far post to head home. That goal will have hurt the former Ajax star and his boss, having faced criticism for splashing out £57million on a 5ft 9in centre-back who many have claimed won’t be able to cope with the physical demands of the Premier League.
A sweeping Brentford move saw Bryan Mbeumo slide home a fourth within 35 minutes, stunning the travelling United fans into silence and prompting a wave of criticism at the interval. Redknapp was keen to draw attention to two of Ten Hag’s decisions surrounding Martinez and Eriksen.
“I don’t think I’ve seen 45 minutes in the Premier League like this,” he told Sky Sports. “Brentford have won every second ball, every challenge and they’ve been too strong for Man Utd. Martinez shouldn’t be marking [Ivan] Toney. Someone has got to take responsibility.
“I cannot believe what I’m watching from this Man Utd team. They just look like a team that have been given the badge and then thrown out there. Martinez, not strong enough as a central defender and getting bullied. Eriksen isn’t a defensive midfielder. They’re two decisions that the manager has made.”
Ten Hag admitted that he has a ‘hell of a job’ on his hands after losing his competitive dugout debut to Brighton at Old Trafford last weekend. A first-half double from Pascal Gross caught the home crowd off guard and an own goal from Alexis Mac Allister after the interval was not enough to prevent the Seagulls’ first-ever win on United’s turf.
The Dutchman is also having a tough time behind the scenes with key vacancies still to be filled in midfield and attack. A drawn-out pursuit of Frenkie de Jong may still come to nothing due to the player’s apparent desire to stay at Barcelona and a lack of attacking transfer options has seen United turn to the likes of Marko Arnautovic and Alvaro Morata, which hasn’t been well-received by fans.
There are also issues to be resolved in the cases of Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford. The former requested to leave Old Trafford last month and crunch talks at Carrington supposedly failed to change his mind.
The latter is the subject of serious interest from Paris Saint-Germain with reports indicating that a bid and contract proposal are in the pipeline. Two more attacking departures would leave Ten Hag with a mountain to climb in terms of making sure he has enough firepower to compete with the Premier League’s big hitters this season.