Erik ten Hag reveals fury at 'stupid' Man Utd decisions

Michael Graham
Erik ten Hag unhappy with 'stupid' tactics
Erik ten Hag unhappy with 'stupid' tactics / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Erik ten Hag has blasted his Manchester United players for what he considered ‘stupid’ decisions in their 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday.

Man Utd saw a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions come crashing down at Villa Park, finding themselves two goals down within 12 minutes.

They were never able to really work themselves back into the contest, and too often resorted to playing long diagonal crosses towards Cristiano Ronaldo.

"No, I think it was stupid to do that," Ten Hag replied when asked if those were his instructions to his players.

"We delivered too quickly crosses in from too far and too forcing. Then, we don't help him. We have to bring in the crosses at the right moment.

"I think in the second half also we bring too quickly the crosses in. The right moment was from Christian Eriksen in the first half and he found the moment in the pocket to deliver the ball to Cristiano at the far post. That was the right moment."

Man Utd were well-beaten on the day by Aston Villa, who gave new boss Unai Emery the perfect start to his tenure.

They were missing influential midfielder Bruno Fernandes, but Ten Hag isn’t willing to accept that as an excuse for the performance.

"Bruno Fernandes is an important player, but I don't have that feeling [that his absence was a factor in the defeat].

"It is about the players who are now on the pitch to win this game. If they do their job 100 per cent, with passion and desire, following the rules and the principles of football, then we win this game.

"When you lose the game at the start of the first half and the start of the second half, when you start games like this, you get beat."