Marcel Sabitzer has opened up on his time at Manchester United and stated missing three ‘leaders’ has been the problem
Sabitzer, 29, is now at Borussia Dortmund following his loan spell at Old Trafford. He has made 11 appearances for the German side so far this term.
Back at his former side, where he won the Carabao Cup, things haven’t looked brilliant during the opening months of the season.
United have had difficulties on and off the pitch and currently sit eighth in the Premier League table. They must win their next Champions League game against Copenhagen to keep their knockout hopes realistic.
It seems like things have taken a downturn since Sabitzer left the club, however, the midfielder believes that the injury troubles for Erik ten Hag have been a major factor behind the slow start.
In particular, the Austrian highlighted the defensive trio of Casemiro, Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martinez, who were all mainstays for the majority of last season.
“They are leaders that provide structure and stability to the team,” Sabitzer said of his three former teammates in an interview with The Athletic.
“Erik ten Hag comes with up very specific match plans and patterns of play. But if you have too many important players missing and too many changes as a result, things get lost between the tactics board and the pitch. The rhythm of players coming isn’t right, processes aren’t right.
“In the Premier League and Champions League, you need your best players available. Everything feels a little laboured and uncertain now. They need their big guys to show up and change the course of the season, but I believe things can change quickly once they get important players back.”
The former United player also reserved praise for his coach at the club in Ten Hag, who is under external pressure right now following the poor start to the season.
“You can wake him up at 3am, he’d tell you his whole match plan by heart,” Sabizter stated. “He’s very knowledgeable about football and tactics — a very hard worker, a perfectionist.
“And he’s very straight with you. When I had a bad game, he showed me some situations and told me how to do it better next time. I liked that. You knew where you stood with him. He never threw you under the bus. Instead, he told players to go out and do better in the next game. I learned a lot about football working under him. He’s a very good coach.”
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