During the press conference after the 1-0 win over Copenhagen in the third match of the Champions League group stage, a Danish journalist demanded to know why Christian Eriksen did not start for Manchester United.
Coach Erik ten Hag said: “He is definitely part of the team. I think our build-up became more fluid when Eriksen came along. But we made some adjustments in other positions, in the way we build and deploy the ball.
But Eriksen clearly played a key role in the victory. He always chooses the right moment and when he has the ball, he makes very good decisions, the best example is the assist for Harry Maguire’s goal.”
“Why doesn’t Eriksen start?” is the question being asked at this time. Eriksen should have started in the match against Sheffield United but didn’t. He came on the field when the match was deadlocked and Man United won. Eriksen should have started against Copenhagen but once again, Ten Hag missed out. Eriksen came on when the match was deadlocked and Man United won again.
Ten Hag has adjusted the use of Eriksen, replacing him in 25 of his 37 starts last season. Currently, Ten Hag has been forced to put his trust in Eriksen. In matches where Man United had most of the possession, Leaving Eriksen on the bench is a mistake.
It can be seen that Sofyan Amrabat and Scott McTominay are reasonable options against Sheffield United and Copenhagen – the only defensive midfielders and midfielders capable of rushing to score goals. However, both are unable to regulate the match.
When choosing two physical midfielders, Ten Hag accidentally ignored his principles. Man United are building on the foundations, with wins taking precedence over performances. They lost the identity they had last season and Harry Maguire was almost sold to West Ham United in the summer.
When Eriksen entered the field, applause rang out. Those who follow Man United appreciate Eriksen’s ability to regulate the tempo and his breakthrough passes. After experiencing a dull first half, Eriksen soon inspired. He deserved to receive the title of best player of the match.
Meet Man City, Ten Hag has plenty of options in midfield. Casemiro will be available and Kobbie Mainoo is back after three months of recovery. Man United has 6 central midfielders available so Ten Hag can set up the battle.
As bad as it is, Casemiro is still essential. He has experience and bravery in big matches, and was instrumental in helping Man United win the only derby in the last 5 confrontations.
The best players don’t always make the best squad and McTominay, one of Man United’s strongest players, is thought to be the right man to partner Casemiro.
Eriksen is completely capable of shouldering the remaining position in midfield. As for Mason Mount? No one asked why this player was on the bench like in Eriksen’s case.
Tieu Lam | 14:16 October 27, 2023