Alan Shearer has said he feels sorry for Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag following the Red Devils’ 3-1 home defeat to Brighton.
It has been a difficult start to the season off and on the field for United.
After a shaky opening day win over Wolves, they have lost at Tottenham and Arsenal to continue their woeful away record against the top nine teams in the Premier League.
Their home record was excellent last term but they were comfortably beaten by Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
Sandwiched in between the Wolves win and Brighton defeat was a 3-2 victory against Nottingham Forest, but Ten Hag’s men had to work hard for the three points after going 2-0 down inside the opening five minutes.
While United have been less than convincing on the pitch, Ten Hag has had to deal with a number of difficult situations off it.
Mason Greenwood and Antony have both had their off-field problems, to put it lightly, while Jadon Sancho has created a public feud with his manager, which has definitely not helped.
All of this is going on while there is uncertainty over the ownership of the club, with the Glazers reportedly open to selling.
Many expected the sale process to be close to its conclusion by now after the Glazer family first said they were willing to sell last November.
We are nowhere near a conclusion, however, and Newcastle United legend Shearer thinks the uncertainty is now filtering down onto the football pitch, which is why he has some “sympathy” for Ten Hag.
“I do have a little bit of sympathy with Ten Hag with all the serious external issues,” Shearer said on Match of the Day.
“Everything eventually filters down on the pitch, is it for sale or not for sale?
“Leadership, where is that coming from? So I do have a little bit of sympathy for him.
“They just need to know, the fans need to know and he [Ten Hag] needs to know what is going on at the football club. It all comes down onto the football pitch and it is starting to happen now.”
Gary Neville’s constant complaining about the Glazers has become a bit of a meme, but he definitely has a point.
And following the defeat to Brighton, he obviously said the result was because of the United owners.
Writing on X, formerly Twitter, he said: “Oh and yes the Glazers are responsible. It’s how it works. You own a business and everything good and bad sits with you!
“They inherited the best in all areas. They’ve overseen 10 years of mediocrity off the pitch and on the pitch. They set the culture of greed, ill-discipline, indecision and uncertainty that runs right through the club.
“It would be best if they sold the club with some speed and efficiency and allowed at least the off the pitch items to be corrected properly that re-set the tone and culture.
“Football is volatile so results on the pitch can be erratic and cyclical but if the off the pitch stuff including the owners direction and leadership are spot on it gives you a better chance to succeed on it.”
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