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DANNY MURPHY: Erik ten Hag needs a keeper who can play out from the back unlike David de Gea

DANNY MURPHY: Man United need a keeper who can play from behind as David de Gea CANNOT do the job…while Erik ten Hag was wrong with new signings Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez in debacle at Brentford

  • David de Gea made a mistake playing the ball from behind against Brentford
  • His pass to Christian Eriksen was expropriated and scored by Mathias Jensen
  • De Gea had already made a costly mistake to put Brentford in charge
  • Eriksen was played in the defensive midfield, but he doesn’t fit the position
  • Lisandro Martinez’s height was exposed to a physical side of Brentford

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If Erik ten Hag wants Manchester United to play from behind, he needs a goalkeeper who can. That’s not David De Gea.

When Pep Guardiola arrived at Manchester City, he knew what he wanted. Everyone loved Joe Hart, he accomplished so much for the club, but Guardiola knew he couldn’t play his way. That’s why he brought in Ederson.

De Gea is a fantastic goalkeeper despite his two glaring mistakes at Brentford, but he is not comfortable enough on the ball.

David de Gea made two glaring mistakes when Manchester United suffered a 4-0 defeat to Brentford

David de Gea made two glaring mistakes when Manchester United suffered a 4-0 defeat to Brentford

Ten Hag has to find a keeper who can play the ball from behind, unlike the Spaniard

Ten Hag has to find a keeper who can play the ball from behind, unlike the Spaniard

Ten Hag has to find a keeper who can play the ball from behind, unlike the Spaniard

Ederson at City and Alisson at Liverpool are technical enough to play the right pass, but they also know when to play him and, more importantly, when not to. They recognize when they are well pressed and the short pass is not, so they miss the midfield.

It was Christian Eriksen who lost the ball for Brentford’s second goal, but De Gea should never have looked after him. Anyway, Eriksen should never have been in that position.

What Ten Hag can arrange is to play people in the right position and choose a team that suits the opponent.

Christian Eriksen struggled on his return to Brentford when asked to play in defensive midfield

Christian Eriksen struggled on his return to Brentford when asked to play in defensive midfield

Christian Eriksen struggled on his return to Brentford when asked to play in defensive midfield

Co-new signing Lisandro Martinez, meanwhile, struggled against a physical Brentford side

Co-new signing Lisandro Martinez, meanwhile, struggled against a physical Brentford side

Co-new signing Lisandro Martinez, meanwhile, struggled against a physical Brentford side

Eriksen has been a match winner over the years, but never in the defensive midfield role.

Why did Ten Hag think Eriksen was suitable for that role, picking up the ball on the edge of the area? He’s an odds-maker, he’s a goalscorer.

And Ten Hag chose a short-length team that could never make it on set plays with the tall, physical Brentford players. Lisandro Martinez is going to cause real problems for United in that regard. Opposition parties will elect him.

The crushing defeat to Brentford gives Ten Hag a lot to think about for Liverpool

The crushing defeat to Brentford gives Ten Hag a lot to think about for Liverpool

The crushing defeat to Brentford gives Ten Hag a lot to think about for Liverpool

We can’t overlook that Brentford was fantastic throughout the game, but one of the most incredible stats was how much further and faster they ran than United.

Brentford ran 8.6 miles more than United and produced 25 additional sprints. You’ve lost your opening game, have a new manager to impress, have been criticized all over… the least you can do is match your opponents for their efforts.

Ten Hag cannot afford to set up his team against Liverpool in the same way. They need to be more pragmatic, harder to beat. If they try to play from behind like they did today, it can be brutal.


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