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Rio Ferdinand criticizes Erik ten Hag's treatment of Man Utd star

Published: Updated: 06:58, 13 May 2024
Casemiro started in defence against Arsenal despite no past experience

Former Manchester United player, Rio Ferdinand, has expressed his disapproval over the current manager Erik ten Hag's handling of midfielder Casemiro. He has called out the Dutchman for what he perceives as 'unfair' treatment and strongly advised against playing him in defence.

Casemiro was positioned at centre-back during Sunday’s 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal. This decision came amidst a defensive injury crisis that saw Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane, Viktor Lindelof and Tyrell Malacia all sidelined due to injuries. However, this move did not sit well with Ferdinand who firmly believes that Casemiro is ill-suited for this role.

Ferdinand thinks other options could have utilised

Ferdinand suggested alternatives such as Aaron Wan-Bissaka or Sofyan Amrabat who could potentially fill in the defensive gap more effectively than Casemiro.

Manchester United legend, Rio Ferdinand, said:

‘When is he (Erik ten Hag) going to take Casemiro out of the back line?’ 

‘Why can’t Sofyan Amrabat play there? Or Scott McTominay? I just don’t think it’s fair. If you see a few mistakes from someone who is playing there, who has never played there before, and you see the mistakes early, you should go, ‘You know what, I’m not going to do this to you’ – I don’t care how experienced he is.

‘Come on, move him out of there and get back to the position he knows. Play Aaron Wan-Bissaka there. Then you could have Amrabat at right-back. That’s the most natural thing for me. Wan-Bissaka at centre-back and Amrabat at right-back. He was happy to play him at left-back for a few games.

‘We looked like an uncoached team. At the creative end of the pitch, we were lacking massively. Decision-making and quality was not there.’

A nightmare season under Ten Hag

Manchester United have suffered a dismal season under Ten Hag's management. The team has lost 19 games across all competitions - their highest since the 1977-78 season. This includes nine defeats at Old Trafford which ties their record for most home losses in a single season.

The Red Devils have also conceded an alarming total of 82 goals this term - their worst defensive performance since the 1970-71 season.

The mounting losses and poor performances have put immense pressure on Ten Hag. His frustration was evident when he snapped at a journalist following United’s defeat in the Arsenal match.

The future of Manchester United under Erik ten Hag remains uncertain. Fans and critics alike will be watching closely to see how the Dutchman navigates this challenging period and whether he can turn around the team's fortunes.

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