Updated: Oct 3
Ten Hag has sent clear messages to Manchester United players and board.
Following an opening-day defeat at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, Man United were desperate to collect their first points under Erik ten Hag.
United travelled to West London for a clash with Brentford and they were undoubtedly expecting to come away from the capital with a positive result. The reality was so far off the expectation that it genuinely beggared belief.
Ten Hag’s men found themselves three goals down inside 30 minutes and the home side added a fourth with 10 minutes remaining of the first half. It was a comedy of errors but nobody associated with United was found laughing on Saturday.
Josh Dasilva broke the deadlock after 10 minutes with thanks to porous goalkeeping by David De Gea, who failed to ground Dasilva’s low driven shot from 20 yards.
Just 8 minutes later De Gea was culpable for another individual error as he fed Christian Eriksen, who was pressed high by countryman Mathias Jensen and the Brentford man calmly slotted home in the bottom corner.
Ben Mee compacted United's misery on the half-hour mark when he bundled the ball over the line amidst amateur defending at a Brentford corner.
No more than 5 minutes later Bryan Mbeumo hit the final nail into United's coffin, through a lightning quick counter with attacking partner Ivan Toney. Mbeumo got by Luke Shaw with such ease and found the net just 7 seconds after the ball had been in Brentford's penalty area.
Ten Hag made a triple substitution at half-time as Shaw, Fred and Lisandro Martínez were withdrawn for Tyrell Malacia, Scott McTominay and Raphael Varane. Although the onslaught did not continue into the second period, United failed to conjure any sort of response.
To make matters worse United's looked like a bunch of grasshoppers in their hideous full lime green third kit, and the Bees dished up a distasteful mauling which will leave a sting for the foreseeable future.
F/T Brentford 4-0 Man United
Ten Hag is the first United manager since 1921 to lose his first two competitive matches, and he sent a clear message to the club’s hierarchy following the damning defeat at Brentford.
“We need new players and quality players. We will try and convince them to join” said Ten Hag in a post-match interview.
Speaking on the team's performance, Ten Hag said “It's rubbish, it's poor. We need higher standards than that, that's clear.
“This is not the way I want to play. We have to demand different, higher standards”, the manager added, citing United's display as being ‘really poor’.
Prior to the Brentford humiliation, United had not suffered seven straight away league defeats since 1936 and the last time they had lost to Brentford was back in 1938. United sit bottom of the Premier League table after two games, with zero points and six goals conceded. As if last season's ceaseless calamity wasn't bad enough, United are well on their way towards sinking to new depths.
Following last season’s 0-4 defeat at Anfield, Ralf Rangnick suggested United needed as many as 10 new players. Six weeks later the German was effectively shown the door for publicly lamenting the dysfunctional operations behind the scenes and the club’s awry hit rate in recruiting players.
Many did not agree at the time, but in hindsight Rangnick was United’s best appointment in the post-Ferguson era. Although he was out of his depth in a coaching capacity the 64-year-old was due to embark on an advisory role in which he would consult on recruitment and other footballing matters, however the board opted to terminate his contract.
Ten Hag did not afford Rangnick so much as a face-to-face rendezvous and the two only ever connected via phone call. Since taking over Ten Hag has issued several directives in an attempt to reset the culture at United but passing up on a football brain such as Rangnick’s may yet prove an ill-advised call.
Next up is a meeting with Liverpool who shipped in 9 goals without reply across the teams' two league fixtures last term. It's going to get worse before it gets better for United.