Showing posts with label Willy Kambwala. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Willy Kambwala. Show all posts

Erik ten Hag's future uncertain despite the heroics against Liverpool in FA Cup

Oft overlooked by Erik ten Hag the Ivorian winger Amad Diallo scored an unlikely goal to help United win in 121st minute of extra time in the FA Cup quarter-finals against arch rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford. That 4-3 victory will go down as an all-time FA Cup classic. It's the 10th time that Manchester United have knocked Liverpool off in the world's oldest Cup competition, more than any other team! This match was billed as a 'Judgement Day' for the embattled Dutch coach and he came out victorious. This epic victory should have galvanized the team to finish the season stronger.

That did not happen. United gave one of their worst performances of the season to draw 1-1 at Brentford, lose in 2nd half stoppage time to Chelsea 4-3, drew with both Liverpool and Bournemouth 2-2. That's potentially dropping 8 massive points when United are already 10 points behind 4th place! Realistically United now battle with other two United's in Newcastle and West Ham for the 6th spot and rule out Champions' League football. That will hurt the earnings given the already challenging situation with respect to Profitability and Sustainability Rules and impact the summer transfer activity.

Against Liverpool, Erik ten Hag got the substitutions right and he timed it well. He was always proactive and seemed to think of all options available to him. Yes Liverpool failed to capitalize on their dominance and score. Rashford missed chance after chance until the extra time for 3rd goal, Anthony having a torrid season saved his coach's blushes by scoring the vital equalizer after he came on as a sub to take the match into extra time. Eriksen made a rare appearance after being sidelined by the rise of Kobbie Mainoo. Andre Onana has finally settled in and earning his team points by his crucial saves. Have the team and coach started to believe in one another fully now?

United faced 31 shots against Brentford and 4 hit the bar with McTominay partnering Mainoo in midfield. Erik ten Hag rested Casemiro and introduced Licha Martinez too soon and got injured again, so did Lindelof after Maguire was brought on for Varane. Defensive nightmare. Mason Mount scored his first goal in injury time and team gave away the lead inside 3 minutes. United had 28 shots against Chelsea and lost the lead in stoppage time to concede two goals! Unpardonable. At half time United probably lost Raphael Varane forever with his later claim of concussion as he approaches final 3 months of his contract with United having averaged partly 19 games a season in 3 years. Evans substituting Varane also got injured and had to be subbed. Anthony had a decent game while Rashford was rested for this game.

It was time for Liverpool in the league and United's first half was atrocious to concede 15 shots with their best XI available to them. Credit to Willy Kambwala who displayed no nerves and gave a rousing audition. Kambwala, Mainoo and Garnacho the three teenagers to face the arch rivals. Second half was much better with two pieces of individual brilliance from Fernandes and Mainoo to give United the lead 2-1. Wan-Bissaka was harshly adjudged to give away a penalty. United did dent Liverpool's title hopes. Bournemouth hit United 20 times and took the lead twice but for Fernandes to score twice and deny the seasiders their first double over United. Fans were left to wonder how this team that battled Liverpool in second half can be so flat in the next game. Kambwala's slip is to be ignored but not the decision to not bring either Eriksen or Amrabat on to get more control in the game. Garnacho was tired and Amad was brought on at half time. United were simply battered black and blue by Iraola's side. 

Amrabat who had played for Erik ten Hag earlier surprisingly looks out of depth to play for United. His loan fee is not cheap. Licha Martinez is often injured and forces the hierarchy to get two new centre-backs instead of one. Anthony has not lived to the hype around his massive transfer fee and instead United should have got Victor Osimhen. Reluctance to change the shape of midfield given that both Mount and Eriksen are available to gain more control of games. Persistence with out of form Casemiro. Erik ten Hag will lead United against Coventry City in the FA Cup semifinal but his methods have not yielded a style of play that fans can relate to.

Instead, it's the same old counter attack and relying on moments of individual brilliance to scrape through when the opposition has completely dominated the game. Injuries especially to the back four, Ronaldo/Sancho/Greenwood situations, lack of football structure behind the coaching staff, change of ownership, promoting Garnacho/Mainoo/Kambwala all adds in his defense so does his first trophy the League Cup and second potential FA Cup final in two years. There is however Massimiliano Allegri who had always wanted to coach United and might be available in the summer. That is high profile candidature unlike Potter, Frank, O'Neil and his relaxed attitude might edge the players too. Decision time for INEOS. With the right structure behind him including recruitment, medicine, training etc being setup by Brailsford, Berrada, Ashworth, Wilcox et al the Dutchman might get one final shot to make things right. The on-field evidence has clearly not been convincing.

Erik ten Hag's future uncertain despite the heroics against Liverpool in FA Cup

Oft overlooked by Erik ten Hag the Ivorian winger Amad Diallo scored an unlikely goal to help United win in 121st minute of extra time in th...

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