Man United full-backs offer promising glimpse of new-look attack under Erik ten Haag 8 months ago

Man United full-backs offer promising glimpse of new-look attack under Erik ten Haag

Jadon Sancho immediately turned to applaud the full-back.

Anthony Martial finished off a fine Manchester United move during their pre-season friendly against Crystal Palace in Australia, on Tuesday.


Martial has now scored three goals in United's pre-season spin through the Far East and Australia, but the most satisfying aspect for new boss Erik ten Haag will be how prominent the full-backs were.

After wins over Liverpool and Melbourne Victory, United defeated Crystal Palace 3-1, with goals coming from Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.

Those watching at home, and at the match, noted how ten Haag is deploying his full-backs when United were building some attacks.


To date, United have made three transfers with Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia arriving from the Eredivise. Christian Eriksen, their third, is a former Ajax player. Asked by Manchester Evening News why he was dipping into the Dutch market, ten Haag said:

"I would like to sign English players because I think there is only one criteria and that's quality in combination with the price. It looks like English players are quite expensive. It's a fact you cannot deny. In the end, it's about quality."

Tyrell Malacia cost United £12.9 million and he has looked tidy and composed in his first couple of outings. What will please ten Haag, and United fans, most about their opener was how both fullbacks combined to set up Anthony Martial to volley home.


Malacia dribbled down the left wing, cut in-field and found Diogo Dalot with his right foot. The Portuguese controlled the pass on his chest and played a lovely, disguised pass that Martial finished from close range.

Jadon Sancho, who had featured in the build-up, immediately turned to applaud Dalot for the assist. United's full-backs have not been the greatest, in the past couple of seasons, in terms of goals and assists, so this is a promising, new wrinkle in their attack.


Maguire booed by Man United fans in Melbourne

Meanwhile, United captain Harry Maguire was booed by fans during that win over Crystal Palace.

Several of those in attendance heard the boos and jeers during the game, with one reporter claiming that Maguire had been "booed four times in the opening five minutes" of the game.


United are currently in Australia as part of their pre-season preparations, where they are up against a series of Premier League opposition.

Erik ten Hag's side are at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where a crowd of over 100,000 are in attendance to watch the game - the majority of those supporting United.

'Support the team or watch the game at home'

Those watching the events in Australia, and on TV back in the UK, were left shocked by the amount of negativity towards the defender.

One fan said: "New season and new manager means clean sheet for all players, including Harry Maguire. Support the team or watch the game at home."

A second added: "Wow! Harry Maguire being met with thousands of boos whenever he touches the ball. Unbelievable! Cowardly commentary by MUTV who are completely ignoring it."

Another said: "I've gone full circle now on Harry Maguire I actually feel sorry for him."

Ten Hag insists Maguire will remain United captain

Ten Hag recently defended Maguire after he confirmed that he would remain as the club's captain, despite question marks over his ability to lead the side after a difficult season last year.

He said: "Harry Maguire is the captain. I have to get to know all the players but he is an established captain and he's achieved a lot of success."

Harry Maguire Man United

Maguire is expected to remain a key figure in the team this season and partner Raphael Varane in defence, though he faces fresh competition from Lisandro Martinez for the left sided centre-back position.

As well as Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia have also joined the club and work is still being done to try to sign Ten Hag's number one target: Frenkie de Jong.

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