"He would have been ideal for United" - Cawley criticises Ten Hag's 'excuse culture' and recruitment strategy
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Alan Cawley and Philly McMahon have reservations about the 'excuse culture' Erik Ten Hag seems to be creating at Manchester United.
"Everything went against us," Ten Hag told the media after his side's 3-1 loss to Arsenal in the Premier League at the weekend.
The Dutchman pointed to possible penalty shouts, a free-kick and, for a finish, he was even arguing with the lines being presented by the VAR over a late off-side call that went against United.
What he failed to mention was the actual stats which showed the Arsenal had ten percent more possession, three more shots on target as well as nine more corners in the game.
It's been a rocky start to the season for the Red Devils, who now have just six points after four games, and are sitting in the bottom half of the table.
Whatever about performances, former League of Ireland player and football pundit Alan Cawley is particularly worried about Ten Hag's current inclination to make excuses when things go wrong.
"What worried me most about the weekend, and I've been a big fan of Ten Hag since he's come in, but there's been so many excuses made since the weekend.
"And I don't like to hear manager's making excuses.
"And once you start bringing in an excuse culture, I think you're looking around then as if this task is above me.
"I'm not suggesting that right now but you think of the business they did in the off-season, it's nowhere near good enough to compete with City, Arsenal and Liverpool.
"And then he's talking about the off-side being onside when they're drawing the lines, that's when I'm getting worried. Then he's talking one being a penalty, and it wasn't a penalty, and the Johnny Evans one, you're not getting a free-kick for that.
"I know he's a manager, caught up in the emotion and so on. But that would worry me, a few excuses, which we haven't heard before."
Philly McMahon, who has worked as a performance coach at League of Ireland side Bohemians, feels that Ten Hag is just trying to deflect the attention away from yet another disappointing defeat for the team.
"There are so many eyes on them at that level so if you talk sh*te, it's going to be spotted a mile away.
"He's throwing a bit of a spanner into the media world, as in, focus on the offside there, focus on the peno, don't focus on the performance."
Expanding on his point about Manchester United's poor recruitment during the off-season, Cawley points to James Madisson, who has had a great start to the season for Spurs.
"I go back to the point about where are United. But why weren't they in the frame for Maddison? He would have been ideal for United in that role that he plays behind the striker. You could play him as one of the number eights. Even Rice as well.
"I'd have Maddison over Bruno (Fernandes)," added Cawley, who has been critical of the Manchester United captain in the past.
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