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Recent Manchester United coach explains why he’s “not shocked” by Erik ten Hag’s goal problem



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Former Manchester United coach Mike Phelan has explained he thinks he knows why Erik ten Hag’s team cannot score enough goals this season.

Mike Phelan has coached at Manchester United most recently under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, after initially serving as assistant coach to Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford earlier in his career.

He has seen a number of talented forwards come through the doors and thrive at United, such as Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, but believes that United are struggling with inconsistency in front of goal and that he is not shocked by the problem.

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United recently drew 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur, with both Rasmus Højlund and Marcus Rashford grabbing goals, but the club have only scored just 24 league goals this season, with only Crystal Palace (22), Burnely (21), and Sheffield United (15) having scored fewer.

“There’s been an inconsistency in goals,” Phelan told Stadium Astro. “And the reason is because the players of quality at that end of the field haven’t performed.

“We can look across many years at United, whether they had one player up top or two players up top, there were contributions from the forwards mainly, but it was the midfielders and the wide players as well. It’s slightly different in Ten Hag’s squad.

“I don’t think that consistency has been there in selection, for a start. We talked about Højlund, who’s just come in, but he started with an injury and didn’t get much time on the field.

“He’s still picking up the pieces of how to be a Manchester United forward – and I think you’re right he is a work in progress, but there’s only so much time you get if you wear that shirt. And if you get into those positions, you have to score goals.

“It’s not surprising in some ways. You’ve got to look around the team for service. Who is scoring goals? Where are they coming from? That is disappointing all around.”