Jamie Carragher baffled by ‘impossible’ Man Utd tactics under Erik ten Hag | Football

Manchester United have not been reliable at the back this season (Picture: Getty Images)

Jamie Carragher says Manchester United ‘defend like a team I’ve never seen before’ and that is not a compliment, believing Erik ten Hag’s tactics are impossible to pull off.

The Red Devils had been on a good run of results, with five straight wins in all competitions, before a very disappointing defeat at home to Fulham on Saturday.

Having sparked hopes that they could again finish in the Champions League places, defeat left them eight points behind Aston Villa in fourth and with a huge amount of work to do if they are to return to Europe’s top table next season.

Carragher was critical of how Ten Hag’s side performed against Fulham, and how they play in general, saying they are trying to do two things at once, with a high press and a deep back line leaving enormous spaces in midfield and exposing themselves to counter-attacks.

‘When I think of this Manchester United team, they defend like a team I’ve never seen before,’ Carragher told Sky Sports.

‘What I mean by that is they’re a team who like to press high with a deep block.

‘It’s impossible. They’re trying to do two things at the same time. You can only do one or the other. We’re all pressing high or all defending deep, they’re trying to do both.’

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United - Premier League

Erik ten Hag is under pressure after the latest disappointing defeat (Picture: Getty Images)

The Liverpool legend picked out a clip from the match at Old Trafford which showed Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo unsure on whether to press Fulham’s defensive midfielder or mark their no.10.

Carragher was not blaming the teenager for the indecision, but the coaching staff for clearly not giving him instructions beforehand.

‘I want to highlight Mainoo, who’s been fantastic since he came in and this is not a criticism of him, but what are his instructions before the game?’ Carragher asked.

‘Straight from the kick-off he’s not sure whether he should be closing the holding midfield player or looking after the no.10. That’s straight from the kick-off, you should know your job straight from the kick-off! That’s down to the coaching staff.

‘It’s been the problem for Manchester United all season, the space between the back four and midfield. The reason why they’re poor defensively and can’t cope with counter-attacks. They’ve got no pace at the back and a lack of legs in midfield.’


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