Man United FC

Erik ten Hag explains why he had to ‘protect’ struggling Man Utd star against West Ham

Erik ten Hag shed light on his decision to substitute Rasmus Hojlund during Manchester United’s goalless draw against West Ham, citing illness as a contributing factor.

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Following a hard-fought draw with Liverpool, United faced another setback at the London Stadium, succumbing to late goals from Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus.

Dealing with a makeshift defense featuring debutant Willy Kambwala, United struggled not only defensively but also offensively.

Wingers Antony and Alejandro Garnacho faced containment from West Ham’s full-backs, and Hojlund, yet to score in 14 Premier League games, endured another fruitless outing.

The £72 million summer signing from Atalanta was substituted just before the hour mark. Ten Hag clarified that Hojlund had been ill during the week, impacting his energy levels and prompting the early withdrawal.

Acknowledging Hojlund’s strength of character, Ten Hag emphasized the need for collective responsibility within the team.

Despite the challenges, the manager urged accountability and emphasized the upcoming fixtures, stating, ‘If you are playing for Manchester United, you have to do it together.’

Marcus Rashford entered the game as Hojlund’s replacement, but the England international faced challenges in a central striking role.

Ten Hag implored the team to recognize their capabilities, acknowledge their shortcomings, and take responsibility for achieving success, emphasizing the importance of winning games and scoring goals in football.

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