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Jamie Carragher points out ‘major flaw’ in Erik ten Hag’s Man United interview



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Credit: YouTube / Sky Sports

Jamie Carragher has explained why he believes Erik ten Hag’s recent interview with Gary Neville about Manchester United contained a major flaw.

On Friday morning, Sky Sports released a 30-minute interview where former Manchester United captain Gary Neville sat down with Erik ten Hag to discuss his recent struggles at the Old Trafford club.

While talking about why Ten Hag has been unable to implement his Ajax-style of football at United, the Dutch manager was quick to point out that he has missed many key players this season through injury.

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He’s not wrong. Injuries to those such as Lisandro Martínez, Luke Shaw, and Casemiro, and poor form from others such as Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Højlund, have left his side struggling to play the style of football that is expected from the club.

Speaking ahead of Luton’s Premier League clash with Everton on Friday evening, Neville and fellow pundit Jamie Carragher reacted to the interview.

“There’s no doubt that Shaw and Martinez are vital to him,” Neville started on Sky Sports. “One, they can step into midfield with Casemiro when Manchester United are attacking and provide that extra bit of pace and aggression – and they’re braver.

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“The one thing he said when I pushed him on style was that Manchester United last season had the most clean sheets in the Premier League playing the same way. Scoring goals was the problem.

“He said, ‘That’s proof that my style can provide can provide good defensive stats.”

However, Carragher then pointed out that United’s defensive issues were already evident last season, meaning Ten Hag’s argument had a major flaw.

“But when it went badly, it went badly wrong,” the former Liverpool centre-back said. “You’re talking about clean sheets, but in terms of conceding goals, you’re thinking of six at City, seven at Liverpool, three at Aston Villa, four at Brentford.”

In reply, Neville admitted that although the record away from home against big teams was bad last season, then-goalkeeper David de Gea still won the Premier League Golden Glove award for the most clean sheets.

He also explained that United’s horrid injury crisis in defence this season must be taken into consideration.

“Oh yeah. The away record against big teams…they’d concede six or seven goals. But David de Gea won the golden glove and had the most clean sheets.

“It was a case of, ‘this style can work, it’s the personnel that are in the style.’

“He showed me that they’ve had 30 different combinations of back four – of course, that’s going to cause a problem. But I still think there are games where they should be doing a lot better. To be fair, I think he thinks that as well.”