Erik ten Hag aimed ‘massive insult’ at Man Utd stars after Arsenal loss, says Wayne Rooney | Football

Erik ten Hag aimed a ‘massive insult’ at Manchester United’s squad, according to Wayne Rooney (Picture: Getty)

Wayne Rooney says Erik ten Hag directed a ‘massive insult’ at Manchester United’s squad by questioning his players’ ‘attitude’ in the wake of the side’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal.

Coming off the back of a humbling 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace last time out, United will have had some Arsenal fans fearing the worst after a promising start at Old Trafford.

But the Red Devils fell behind in the 20th minute as Arsenal capitalised on a piece of naive defending from Casemiro to make the breakthrough, with Leandro Trossard directing Kai Havertz’s cross home to silence the home crowd.

The Gunners held firm to come away from the Theatre of Dreams with a crucial victory, ensuring they head into the final week of the season with a one-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.

Despite yet another disappointing result, United head coach Ten Hag praised his players for what he felt was a much-improved display, less than a week on from one of the club’s most painful losses of recent times at Selhurst Park.

‘We can face them [the fans], but on Monday we definitely couldn’t face them,’ the Dutchman said in his post-match interview with Sky Sports.

‘But you see the fans are behind us and they fought with us against Palace. Today, we gave that back but that should be the standard in any game.’

Leandro Trossard celebrates scoring for Arsenal against Manchester United

Trossard made the breakthrough midway through the first half at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

Quizzed on the key to United’s much-improved performance against Arsenal, Ten Hag replied: ‘Ah, that’s attitude.

‘It starts always with the right attitude and that is what you have to build during the week and on match day you have to be spot on.

‘Today we did and then you see that even when we miss seven potential starting XI players, we are competitive with one of the best teams in the league.’

Rooney believes United players should be ‘insulted’ by Ten Hag’s post-match comments (Picture: Getty)

Rooney, United’s all-time record goalscorer, urged the club to stick with Ten Hag beyond the end of the season as he analysed the performance in the Sky Sports studio, despite the club languishing down in eighth place in the top flight – 32 points adrift of league leaders Arsenal.

And according to the former England captain, United’s players should be ‘insulted’ after the Dutchman appeared to criticise their attitude and desire in recent weeks.

‘I think anyone who is Manchester United manager is under pressure because obviously it is a huge club,’ Rooney said.

‘When you’re losing games in the way they’re losing games at the minute, there’s going to be big questions asked.

It remains to be seen if Ten Hag will still be in charge of United next season (Picture: Getty)

‘I said this a few weeks ago, I think the players have to really look at themselves because when you’ve got your manager doing his interview and he’s talking about attitude and players’ attitude not being right to play for Manchester United, that is a massive insult.

‘If I see my manager saying that then there is no way I’d just let that ride and ride until the end of the season.

‘It looks like some players are just trying to get to the end of the season so I feel for him in that way.

‘But ultimately it’s his job to make sure that the players are right.’

Rooney accused Casemiro of ‘laziness’ after Trossard’s first-half goal (Picture: Getty)

Rooney was heavily critical of Casemiro for his role in Trossard’s strike in the first half, accusing the makeshift defender of being ‘naive’ and ‘lazy’ in moments leading up to the goal.

‘He’s obviously shown that he’s a midfield player and he’s not a natural centre-back,’ the legendary former United and England forward said shortly after the final whistle.

‘As we said at half-time, once Manchester United want to play this way, whether you’re a midfield player or a centre-back, you have to be ready to push out with the rest of the team because, if not, you play everyone onside and get punished.

‘It was maybe a bit naive, there’s not really angle anyway for [Andre] Onana to get the ball to him. But then he has to push out and it’s lazy. It’s lazy, he’s lazy.

‘The rest of his team-mates have pushed out and they get caught by it.

‘And even defending the space, he’s not aware of any players around him and then Trossard comes in and gets an easy goal.’

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