Manchester United hero Norman Whiteside has hit out at broadcaster Richard Keys after ill-informed criticism of Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag.
Erik ten Hag enjoyed a strong first season as Manchester United manager, and critics are already lining up to snipe at him.
This is what happens with Manchester United. ‘Hated, Adored, Never Ignored’, is a mantra which sums up the world’s obsession with the club, whether the team wins or loses.
When there is a loss, even in pre-season, it emboldens the club’s critics to speak out, whatever their interest.
Erik ten Hag criticised
Former Sky Sports host Richard Keys hit out at the Manchester United manager after a 3-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
The pre-season loss was marred by defensive errors, and Erik ten Hag was rightly critical of the squad after the performance.
Among other jibes, Keys ranted: “Defeat is never his fault it seems.”
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Former Manchester United forward Norman Whiteside issued a cutting response towards Keys, writing on X.com: “Bitter!”
Yes, Manchester United have work to do
Erik ten Hag will know better than anybody that Manchester United have work to do in order to improve. This has been highlighted by a mixed set of pre-season performances to date.
But this is what pre-season is for, and it is arguably better to get a tough pre-season workout, than be lulled into a false sense of serenity by winning every single game, as we saw under Louis van Gaal in 2014, which was followed up by a Premier League defeat at home to Swansea City, when it really mattered.
United started a second-string side against Dortmund, so this was not the game on which to start forming kneejerk reactions.
That didn’t stop Richard Keys – but his comments are a taste of what is to come, with pundits desperate to tear down the Red Devils boss, after listening to him being praised last season, it’s what the media do.