Erik ten Hag has begged the Manchester United hierarchy to let him sign new players after the Red Devils were humiliated by Brentford on Saturday.
United were beaten 4-0 as Ten Hag become the first manager to lose each of his first two games in charge of the club since John Chapman in November 1921.
The result puts United bottom of the Premier League as Brentford secured their first win over them since 1938.
‘We need new players and quality players,’ United boss Ten Hag said after the game. ‘We’ll do everything to convince them to come.’
Manchester United continued their disastrous start to the 2022/23 season in harrowing fashion away to Brentford on Saturday evening.
Hopes of an Erik ten Hag inspired revival were short-lived as United fell 4-0, with all of the goals coming before half-time.
The Dutch coach had hoped to turn his fortunes around by making just one solitary change from the team that was humbled by Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday, returning Cristiano Ronaldo to the starting XI in place of Scott McTominay.
Brentford will have appreciated United’s charitable nature in the searing heat as the hosts didn’t have to work hard for a single one of their four first-half strikes.
Cristiano Ronaldo was dispossessed after a laughable throw-in from the visitors, straight out of an under-9s match, and then David de Gea did his own version of physical acrobatics to somehow let Josh Dasilva’s weak shot under his body and into the net.
What followed was comical. Manchester United’s inability to play out from the back saw De Gea play a suicidal pass out from a goal-kick to Christian Eriksen, which Brentford intercepted and Mathias Jensen had an easy side-footed finish from close range.
At 2-0 down Erik ten Hag’s team had conceded three of their four goals this season from either their own throw-in or goal-kick.
Ben Mee made it three with a header from close range as United failed to deal with a corner kick, whilst a Brentford counter-attack gave Bryan Mbeumo the chance to make it 4-0 with Luke Shaw the only defender left in his own half.
Although Ten Hag made three substitutions at half-time, there was little to no reaction from United once play resumed.
In fact, Brentford looked more likely to extend their lead, with the Dutch tactician glued to his seat in response.
United’s afternoon was summed up by a rare chance in the 72nd minute. Anthony Elanga looked to be in, only for the ball to bounce off his shin, allowing Brentford to clear.
From there, the party-like atmosphere continued for the home fans, who cheered Christian Eriksen when he was given the hook in the 86th minute.
It has been a hugely frustrating transfer window for United, who have failed to convince most of their top targets to join the club.
But United are confident they can wrap up a deal to sign Frenkie de Jong next week with Chelsea cooling their interest in the Barcelona star.
United are also in talks to sign Mauro Icardi from Paris Saint-Germain and are preparing a £35m offer for Cody Gakpo.
Negotiations over personal terms are ongoing but Macari has shared the scepticism felt by many United supporters who have been left feeling decidedly underwhelmed by efforts to sign the Frenchman.
Ten Hag was quizzed about new signings on Friday – and with the window set to close on September 1 – he is confident about getting fresh faces through the door.
When asked specifically if he and the board are on the same page regarding transfer targets, Ten Hag replied: ‘Yes’.
United return to action next Monday – August 22 – when they host rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag’s side beat them 4-0 in pre-season, but their last game at Old Trafford ended with Jurgen Klopp’s team running out as 5-0 winners.
Related to that are the sprint stats. Brentford’s players made 90 bursts for the ball, United just 65.
And when it comes to applying pressure in the opponent’s defensive third, there are no signs yet of United’s players adopting Ten Hag’s pressing game.
With Cristiano Ronaldo leading the attack and Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho behind him, United applied pressure just seven times.
By contrast, Brentford did so 21 times during the 90 minutes.
We all suspected that Ronaldo wouldn’t buy into a hard press style, just as under interim boss Ralf Rangnick last season, and here is early evidence. Maybe it is time to get rid.
An unwanted record for Ten Hag
The Dutchman has become the first United manager to lose each of his first two games in charge since John Chapman back in November 1921. United were relegated in that season as well.
Rather ominously, present day United have to face Liverpool next.
Blown away in 35 minutes
Brentford raced into a four-goal lead inside 35 minutes and became only the third side to score four past United in the first-half of a Premier League match.
The others were Tottenham in their 6-1 win at Old Trafford in October 2020 and Liverpool when they won 5-0 on the same ground last October.
It certainly suggests a brittle confidence in United ranks which makes them capitulate after conceding.