SAVED in Fergie time, Erik ten Hag is now limping into Unai time as Manchester United prepare for the inevitable.
Bruno Fernandes’ 91st-minute winner means the Outdated Trafford disaster talks are on maintain.
Manchester United supervisor Erik ten Hag may very well be on his manner outCredit score: Rex
However nobody needs to be fooled into believing that this unconvincing victory signifies that a nook has been turned.
They continue to be only one poor efficiency away from a disaster which might arrive as early as Wednesday evening, when defeat in Copenhagen would depart their Champions League hopes severely within the steadiness.
And the longer the uncertainty drags on, the extra it appears like Unai Emery’s ill-starred 18 months in cost at Arsenal.
It was again in November 2019 when Arsenal reluctantly accepted that Emery needed to go after he had misplaced the assist of the gamers and the followers.
The Spaniard had made a dozen new signings at huge expense however there was no sense of route or goal about what he was attempting to realize.
He alienated the dressing room when he tried to play the disciplinarian arduous man and it quickly grew to become obvious his gamers stopped believing in him.
Ten Hag has been backed to the tune of £400million within the switch market nevertheless it has been a scattergun spending spree and not one of the new signings have had a big affect.
And as a lot because the gamers spoke of combating spirit and backing the supervisor after Saturday’s mid-table victory at Fulham, they have been fooling nobody.
The beginning line-up was the weakest United group lots of the away followers might bear in mind.
Antony, Ten Hag’s £85.5m largest signing, was a legal responsibility as soon as once more, continuously surrendering low cost possession and displaying a whole lack of self-discipline earlier than being hauled off halfway by means of the second half.
Christian Eriksen regarded like a participant whose legs have gone and was completely unsuited to a holding midfield function.
Ten Hag’s is beginning to seem like Unai Emery in his final days at ArsenalCredit score: Getty
And Rasmus Hojlund reduce an remoted and annoyed determine on their own up entrance as he battled in useless for his first Prem objective.
Even Fernandes’ stoppage-time winner owed extra to luck and Fulham’s defensive deficiencies than any scintillating attacking play by United, with the ball ricocheting 3 times off Facundo Pellistri earlier than dropping into the United captain’s path.
And that might have been tutorial however for Andre Onana’s double save from Harry Wilson and Joao Palhinha.
The jury remains to be out on United’s £43.8m keeper however he’s placing himself on the road in his supervisor’s hour of want.
Onana mentioned: “Perhaps these saves have been essential however what mattered most was the objective from Bruno, as a result of that’s what gave us this victory.
“The clear sheet provides us numerous confidence however typically you don’t concede a objective and nonetheless solely draw. The end result was all that mattered.
Ten Hag nonetheless has assist however might undergo one other main setbackCredit score: Rex
“However the clear sheet confirmed how arduous we’re working as a result of we needed to defend and undergo collectively and I’m very pleased with the way in which we fought for this win.”
It introduced some much-needed respiration house for Ten Hag.
His supporters — and there are nonetheless loads of these — declare he simply wants time.
They level to the job Mikel Arteta is doing for Arsenal after being given the good thing about the doubt when preliminary outcomes weren’t nice.
However Arteta survived as a result of it was clear to see what he was attempting to realize and his signings have been a big enchancment on what had gone earlier than.
None of that’s presently the case with Ten Hag. Nobody can argue with the Dutchman’s document at Ajax.
However it’s not taking place for him at United and after 18 months it’s tough to see how he turns issues round.
So ultimately somebody has to understand the nettle and name time on a gifted coach within the unsuitable place on the unsuitable time.
HOW THEY LINED UP
FULHAM: Leno, Castagne, Bassey, Ream, Robinson, Iwobi (Jimenez 89), Palhinha, Wilson (Cairney 90), Pereira (Decordova-Reid 81), Willian (Lukic 76), Muniz (Vinicius 76).
MAN UTD: Onana, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Evans, Dalot, McTominay, Eriksen (Mount 79), Antony (Pellistri 63), Fernandes, Garnacho (Varane 90), Hojlund (Martial 79).