Sir Alex Ferguson’s old assistant slams Man Utd: ‘No playing style’ | Football

The Dutchman is facing an increasingly uncertain future (Picture: Getty)

Former Manchester United assistant Rene Meulensteen has joined the growing criticism of Erik ten Hag’s management of the club following their drubbing against Crystal Palace.

The Red Devils were hammered 4-0 at Selhurst Park on Monday night to leave them in eighth place in the Premier League table, while they have now conceded more goals than they have scored.

Michael Owen went as far as calling for Ten Hag to be sacked before the FA Cup final, while Paul Scholes said the defeat to Palace was ‘the final nail in the coffin’ for the Dutchman.

Now Meulensteen, who coached under Sir Alex Ferguson between 2007 and 2013, has also criticised the club’s lack of direction and evolution under Ten Hag while he also feels the squad is not fit for purpose.

‘It is really incomprehensible what is happening now. There is simply no progress whatsoever,’ Meulensteen told NOS in the Netherlands.

‘You know, as a new trainer you always have to deal with a squad that you have not put together yourself. So it takes a few transfer windows before you get the players you want. I always say: a trainer needs 18 months to get it right, to get on track.

‘But now there is none of that optimism left. There is no playing style, club culture or philosophy.’

Man Utd legend Sir Alex Ferguson and Rene Meulensteen

Meulensteen was Sir Alex’s right-hand man for several years (Picture: Getty)

He continued: ‘I saw two teams [last night]: one with their own clear playing style and tactics, and one where all that was missing.

‘If you look at the statistics… it doesn’t make any sense. Manchester United has a goal difference of minus three!’

On Ten Hag’s decision to ban several media outlets from asking questions at a recent press conference, Meulensteen continued: ‘That was really not smart.

‘The media of course have the right to ask questions. They also see what kind of results are on the board, such as the 4-0 against Crystal Palace. Then it is logical that they ask critical questions.

‘As United’s manager you are constantly under scrutiny. At this club the level of scrutiny is much higher than at any other club.’

Turning his criticism towards the players, Meulensteen added: ‘We had professionals through and through [during Sir Alex’s time in charge], boys like Gary Neville, Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo. Moreover, there were a lot of boys with special qualities.

‘Now, there are just too many players who are either too old or not good enough. Or boys who have the wrong attitude.’

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