Having watched helplessly as his team was obliterated by Brentford in a horrendous first-half display over the weekend, Manchester United’s embattled manager, Erik Ten Hag must be wishing he didn’t have to face ruthless Liverpool so soon.
After slumping to two embarrassing defeats in his first Premier League games in charge, the Dutchman must be wondering what he must do to keep his floundering team from being slaughtered by Jurgen Klopp’s Red Army a week from now. Make no mistake about it, if the Red Devils put up the same shambolic display on Monday, August 22, 2022, at Old Trafford, they will be mauled right in front of their fans. Unless, of cause, somethings can be done before that time.
While it may seem very difficult to see his team avoid another damaging defeat on the night, there are, however, two key things Hag must do for the hosts to even have a chance against the visitors.
For starters, United must complete the signing of Juventus midfielder, Adrien Rabiot, and register him before 12 pm on Friday if he must take part in Monday’s game. There are indications that the club agreed to a £15 million transfer fee for Rabiot nine days ago, but there still remains the issue of agreeing on personal terms with the player. Negotiations are still ongoing with his mother/agent, Veronique.
Perhaps the arrival of the Frenchman could help bring the much needed stability and cohesion the UNITED midfield sorely needs.
Though there seem to be other names linked to the club, Rabiot still remains the only most significant deal nearing completion to date.
Secondly, Hag must not only strip Harry Maguire of the captaincy, French Center-Back, Raphael Varane must be brought in to shore up the defense against the Reds on Monday.
Word on the street indicates that Erik Ten Hag’s decision to retain Maguire as club captain is not fully supported by the rest of the team, with some key players (Ronaldo inclusive) questioning the England player’s ability to lead the squad, as well as his constant selection to start games.
With the Liverpool game looming close, Erik Ten Hag must sort out these two key issues if he hopes to get something tangible out of that game and avoid another embarrassing defeat.
Until then, tick tock, Mr. Hag, tick tock.