Erik ten Hag directed a thinly-veiled message to Manchester United’s board over his “limited” attacking options after losing 3-2 to Arsenal on Sunday.
The Red Devils saw their faint title hopes quickly put to bed by Eddie Nketiah’s late goal at the Emirates Stadium having led through Marcus Rashford’s strike before Lisandro Martinez looked to have salvaged a point. Ten Hag made just one change prior to Nketiah’s winner, hauling off the disappointing Antony for midfielder Fred on 71 minutes.
Despite the game being at a deadlock for almost the last half hour, the Dutch coach opted against bringing on youngster Alejandro Garnacho until his side had fallen behind in stoppage time. And Ten Hag explained his decision was more out of a lack of personnel, in a window where loan signing Wout Weghorst looks likely to be their only addition.
It was the best set-up to win this game,” Ten Hag said after the game. “And of course we had some considerations to bring players in, especially Garnacho can have an impact.
“But we need a good press, we conceded two already from a corner, short corners but a lot of crosses there. And so I think Wout did a really good job there in the pressing, and in the heading on set plays.
“So Rashy – you don’t want to take him off – with Bruno [Fernandes] already we make a tactical (change) and I think almost it came out, a really good position from him and pass to Rashford in the back of the defending line and the moment between the defending line and the keeper, so we had our moments there and we also missed some players.
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