‘Not good enough for big games’ – Ten Hag told one player is letting Man United down

 ‘Not good enough for big games’ – Ten Hag told one player is letting Man United down

Manchester United icon Paul Scholes has raised concerns about Diogo Dalot’s mental toughness in high-stakes situations, casting doubt on the right-back’s ability to handle the pressure of significant matches. 

Scholes went on to suggest that the team’s equilibrium is off-balance, asserting that Dalot’s performance falls short of the required standard. 

This season, Dalot has been deployed on both the left and right flanks due to injuries in the left-back position. 

Criticism from football pundits mounted against the 24-year-old, particularly for his role in FC Copenhagen’s third goal during a Champions League Group A away game, where United suffered a 4-3 defeat. 

Despite being ahead 3-2 in the second half with 10 players, United conceded the equalizer in the 83rd minute, leaving them at the bottom of the Champions League Group A standings.

Exploiting a moment of inattention from Diogo Dalot, the Dutch side capitalized on a cross that Lukas Lerager successfully converted, leveling the score at 3-3. 

Dalot’s significant mistake raises the stakes for Manchester United, putting them at risk of an early exit from the Champions League, a setback before progressing to the knockout stage.

During an interview with the Webby and O’Neill YouTube channel, Paul Scholes openly questioned Dalot’s mental fortitude when it comes to delivering performances in high-stakes matches. 

Scholes remarked: “I’m not sure if the right-back’s good enough, [Diogo] Dalot, when it comes to the big games. I’m not sure his character is big enough to handle the big games. [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka can do it defensively not a problem. Going forward. he has improved, don’t get me wrong. I just think the balance of the team has been a little bit wrong.”

Manchester United is grappling with issues of balance and teamwork, evident in their nine losses out of 18 matches across all competitions. 

The team’s defensive vulnerabilities are glaring, with a staggering 30 goals conceded, highlighting significant challenges in their defensive department.

Manager Erik ten Hag, however, has been constrained in player selection due to an ongoing injury crisis. 

In response to these limitations, Ten Hag implemented a structured 4-2-4 formation in the two games leading up to the November international break. 

This tactical approach emphasizes defensive responsibilities for the fullbacks, prioritizing solidity at the back over expansive support for the wide attackers.

Upon assuming the managerial role at United last season, the boss initially favored Diogo Dalot as the primary right-back. However, Aaron Wan-Bissaka managed to reclaim his position in the first team through consistent performances. 

Despite this shift, the offensive contributions of both right-backs have proven to be limited, impeding the expected attacking style at United.

Manchester United has a storied history of deploying attack-minded fullbacks who were known for making dynamic runs from the byline. 

Past players like Antonio Valencia and Gary Neville played pivotal roles in fortifying the wide areas while providing crucial support to the frontline through dangerous crosses.

In light of Paul Scholes’ critique, Diogo Dalot should consider it constructively and work on avoiding lapses in concentration, particularly evident in the match against Copenhagen. 

The Portugal international has been a consistent presence in the team this season, coinciding with United conceding an elevated number of goals. Addressing defensive lapses and maintaining focus could be key for Dalot to contribute positively to the team’s overall performance.

 ‘Not good enough for big games’ – Ten Hag told one player is letting Man United down

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