Published On: Fri, Mar 1st, 2024

Man Utd: Jamie Carragher responds to Erik ten Hag rant as Ratcliffe handed ominous warning | Football | Sport

Jamie Carragher has responded to Erik ten Hag accusing him of having an agenda against Manchester United following his scathing analysis of last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Fulham. The former Liverpool defender turned Sky Sports pundit has spoken out after Ten Hag aimed a dig at him in defence of his team during a press conference earlier this week.

United were dismal as they slumped to a stoppage-time defeat against Fulham at Old Trafford, dealing a massive blow to their top-four hopes.

On Monday Night Football, ahead of West Ham United’s 4-2 win over Brentford, Carragher and Gael Clichy examined what went wrong for Ten Hag’s side.

Carragher focused on United’s set-up and the positioning of Ten Hag’s players, suggesting that the blame lay with the manager.

But the Dutchman came out swinging ahead of Wednesday’s FA Cup victory against Nottingham Forest, claiming the Anfield icon’s punditry on United is ‘subjective’.

He said: “First of all, some analysts are very objective in their comments, very good advice, some are very subjective. Jamie Carragher, from the first moment on, has criticised, and now he wants to make his point.”

Carragher seemingly saw the bright side of Ten Hag’s frustrated comments, setting his cover picture on X (formerly Twitter) of his analysis of United’s tactical deficiencies on Sky Sports.

And he has now broken his silence on the matter, admitting he welcomes the ‘siege mentality’ of the under-fire 54-year-old’s staunch defence.

“My analysis on Sky’s Monday Night Football last week was intended to demonstrate why United are so inconsistent,” Carragher wrote for the Telegraph.

“Manager Erik ten Hag had a go back for what he perceived as unfair criticism. He felt I had been critical from day one.

“Actually, it was from game two when his United team lost at Brentford – but it was directed at the players, not the manager.

“But fair play to him for saying what he did. I have nothing but respect and admiration for managers who defend themselves and their teams.

“If creating a siege mentality at United leads to positive results and improved performances, it is the perfect response.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has a big decision to make on Ten Hag’s future after completing his £1.3billion investment in United last month.

INEOS are making widespread changes across the club’s sporting structure after inheriting total control over football operations from the Glazer family.

And with United at risk of missing out on silverware and a top-four spot this term, there may be doubts over whether Ten Hag is the correct manager to return the glory days to Old Trafford.

However, Carragher believes that regardless of who is in the dugout, United won’t dominate English football again until Pep Guardiola walks away from rivals Manchester City.

He wrote: “Manchester United can forget about knocking Manchester City off their perch while Pep Guardiola remains in English football.

“United can change owners, headhunt the best chief executive and sporting director in the world, revamp their recruitment department, rebuild Old Trafford and appoint their best manager since Sir Alex Ferguson.

“It doesn’t matter. So long as Guardiola is around, City will lose no sleep. United will never be the most dominant club in their City, let alone the rest of the country, until City are in the process of hiring a new coach.”

Ratcliffe has already publicly admitted that his motivation is to replicate Sir Alex Ferguson’s achievement against Liverpool by knocking the treble winners off their perch.

He will see just how much work is required to do so when United visit the Etihad Stadium in Sunday’s Manchester derby.

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