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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Crystal Palace 4-0 Manchester United: Erik ten Hag’s defining embarrassment

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Manchester United are now in 8th place in the Premier League table with a -3 goal difference after a 4-0 beatdown at Crystal Palace. They are behind Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea. They are only five points ahead of David Moyes’ West Ham.

They have one win in their last seven Premier League games.

United’s season is unraveling as easy as its defense, and all of the positivity from Erik ten Hag’s tenure has dissipated. This was a defeat on the level of any that has seen his predecessors dismissed and one which highlights just how far the team has fallen off in the past year.

16 players have been signed under ten Hag. Seven of them started on Monday night.

Despite the seven defensive injuries, and injuries to Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, and Scott McTominay, this was a team that could have played with any sense of awareness or structure. It didn’t.

This is a tired team, a team that continues suffering injuries in training or from returning too fast from injury. This is a team that hasn’t played with any overarching plan or structure. This is a team that is lost.

Michael Olise was outstanding. Oliver Glasner is a good manager. Crystal Palace are in good form. Selhurst Park is a difficult place to play. All of these things are true, but there is no excuse ten Hag can say into the microphone that will justify the atrocious attempt at football this team has made over the past couple of months. There are no memorable goals or individual performances that can cover up what has been an awful campaign. It has been too easy to play through United for months now.

This match was a defining embarrassment for ten Hag’s managerial tenure. There is no hope left that the team can qualify for the UEFA Champions League or Europa League, and likely even the Conference League. His two seasons are littered with matches where his team is too easy to play around.

Hopefully, that was the last one we’ll have to watch.

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