Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag told 'wrong' decision he made in Newcastle draw by Gary Neville


Manchester United icon Gary Neville claimed that Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag got one key decision “wrong” in his side’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle on Sunday. United were unable to maintain their three-match winning run as they failed to find a way past Nick Pope in the Toon net.

Ten Hag surprised many by not naming Marcus Rashford and Christian Eriksen in his starting lineup, though he later revealed that the Danish playmaker missed out through illness. Neville however did not feel that the midfield trio of Casemiro, Fred and Bruno Fernandes provided the necessary balance against Eddie Howe’s side.

“It didn’t feel like a good performance from Manchester United,” Neville said on his podcast. “Eriksen didn’t play in the parts I saw and it looked like they missed him. Fred, Casemiro and Fernandes I think when they’ve been doing well, apart from [Manchester] City, Eriksen has been a big player and when he doesn’t play you realise how big of a player he is, he connects and glues.

“He passes through the lines, he sees things, looks over his shoulder, scanning, you know that’s the case and it allows Fernandes and him – you don’t fall upon Fernandes, you’ve got two of them. I thought the balance was wrong in the midfield, it just felt it wasn’t quite the same fluidity we’ve seen with him in the team. Newcastle I thought were doing well.”

Neville was disappointed with both the draw with Newcastle and the 1-0 victory over Omonia in the Europa League where United stumbled to a late victory courtesy of Scott McTominay, who was suspended for the visit of Newcastle.

“It wasn’t great, there were signs of it in the Europa League that it wasn’t great,” Neville added. “I was impressed with their response to the City game at Goodison Park, I thought it was a really good response. But against the Cypriot team in midweek, it wasn’t great, scrappy but well done, they got a goal late on. Today wasn’t very good.


“I watched the first half and I thought set-pieces in particular Newcastle, I think Joelinton hit the post with a header then the bar. Newcastle definitely deserved something from that first half, to be in front, I didn’t see the entire second half because I was doing that piece on the pitch.”

With Eriksen and McTominay unavailable, Ten Hag did not have many other options to feature in his three-man midfield other than the players he started with.

His lack of options were evident as despite hoping to get a winning goal, the Dutch boss made just one substitute as Rashford came on for Cristiano Ronaldo. Four youngsters were on the bench in Facundo Pellistri, Alejandro Garnacho, Zidane Iqbal and Kobbie Mainoo.


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