Ten Hag tells Man Utd players to 'change our mentality' to challenge Arsenal

By Sports Desk January 22, 2023

Erik ten Hag saw Manchester United's defeat to Arsenal as evidence they must "change our mentality" in order to compete "on the top level".

United conceded a late goal for the second time this week, with Michael Olise's equaliser for Crystal Palace followed by an Eddie Nketiah winner at Emirates Stadium.

Nketiah's 90th-minute strike gave Arsenal a 3-2 victory they more than merited, far outperforming United in terms of shots (25-6) and expected goals (2.9-0.3).

United manager Ten Hag still felt the visitors could and should have come away with a point, however.

He relayed the message he had given to his players, telling his United stars they were not yet ready to win major titles.

"Maybe in the next couple of hours, I will realise we are in a good position, realise we are in a good development, good process," Ten Hag said. "But at this moment, I'm annoyed.

"I also told the players: 'If you want to win trophies, titles, we have to change our mentality.'

"It's not possible in a top game you are making three such big mistakes that you concede goals.

"Especially the last goal, you have to feel the game. At that point, a point was the maximum, so you have to take the point. You can't give such a goal away, like we did, at the top level. Then you can't win trophies.

"I think with coaching we can change that. We have already seen the mentality has changed over the last couple of months.

"But we also have to notice today that we still have a way to go to be on the top level."

Those late goals have hugely frustrated Ten Hag, who added: "Players have to realise the game is finished when the ref whistles three times.

"Until that point, you have to do everything right, 100 per cent focus, do the sacrificing, the suffering, follow the rules and the principles."

The manager did not take the opportunity to highlight Casemiro's absence through suspension as key to the result at Arsenal.

"It's obvious that he's a very good player for us, an important player, but I don't want to talk about players who are not available," Ten Hag explained.

Related items

  • Leicester City sign Tete on short-term deal Leicester City sign Tete on short-term deal

    Leicester City have completed a short-term deal for Brazilian winger Tete.

    The 22-year-old left Shakhtar Donetsk following the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year, joining Lyon in March after players in the country were given permission by FIFA to suspend their contracts.

    After eight goals and nine assists in 30 appearances for the French side, Tete has made the move to the Premier League, although his new club confirmed he is due to return to Shakhtar at the end of the season.

    Upon signing for the Foxes, Tete told the club's media: "I'm really happy to be here. I've had a look at the pitch and the stadium, it's beautiful and I can already imagine what it'll be like with a lot of fans. I hope to score a lot of goals and assists. I hope they'll all be happy to see me play, I'm happy to be a Fox."

    Tete began his career at Gremio and has represented Brazil at under-20 and under-23 level.

    He could make his debut for Brendan Rodgers' side in their trip to Aston Villa on February 4.

  • Chelsea continue spending spree with Gusto signing Chelsea continue spending spree with Gusto signing

    Chelsea have continued their January spending spree with the signing of right-back Malo Gusto from Lyon.

    The France Under-21 international has signed a seven-and-a-half-year deal at Stamford Bridge, but he will spend the remainder of the 2022-23 season on loan at Lyon.

    Gusto, who has made 54 appearances for Lyon since making his debut in January 2021, is reported to have cost Chelsea an initial £26.3million (€29.9m) plus various add-ons.

    He becomes Chelsea's seventh signing of the window following the arrivals of Mykhaylo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana and Joao Felix, the latter joining on loan from Atletico Madrid.

    The 19-year-old attacking full-back will provide long-term competition and cover for Reece James, who has missed the majority of this season through injury. 

    Chelsea are also rumoured to still be in the market for a central midfielder, having so far been frustrated in their attempt to sign Argentina World Cup star Enzo Fernandez from Benfica.

  • Ten Hag has no complaints over fixture schedule as Man Utd bid to end trophy drought Ten Hag has no complaints over fixture schedule as Man Utd bid to end trophy drought

    Erik ten Hag has no complaints with Manchester United's fixture schedule and insists his squad is deep enough to cope with challenging on multiple fronts in the second half of the season.

    United beat Reading 3-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday to advance to the last 16 of the FA Cup, while Wednesday's 3-0 first-leg win over Nottingham Forest means they are all but assured of a place in the EFL Cup final.

    The Red Devils are also still in Europa League contention, with a knockout play-off round tie against Barcelona on the horizon, and are fourth in the Premier League with 18 games to go.

    Ten Hag's side potentially have nine matches to come in February, but the Dutchman considers that a positive as United bid to end a six-year wait for a trophy.

    "I don't complain," he told reporters. "We know what the fixture schedule is; we have to deal with this.

    "At clubs we have to set squads and squads are big enough to deal with it and I think players like to play.

    "You can build and construct a good team when you play often and, in my perspective, when you play often the same you are getting the routines in."

    Ten Hag surprised many by naming a strong starting line-up against Championship side Reading, with Harry Maguire coming into the side as the only change from the Forest match, which followed on from a 3-2 league loss at Arsenal.

    "If you see everything in the perspective of the result, after a defeat we've bounced back," Ten Hag said. "I was happy with the performance at Arsenal, but we made mistakes.

    "We have to work on those mistakes but now twice we have had good performances and two good results."

    Casemiro's second-half double and a neat finish from Fred earned United victory over Reading, who had Andy Carroll sent off but pulled one back through Amadou Salif Mbengue.

    United lost key midfielder Christian Eriksen to injury prior to the hour mark, but Ten Hag says it is too early to determine if the Denmark international is going to spend any time on the sidelines.

    "It's always difficult to say in this moment so short after the game has finished," he said.

    "But it's an ankle [problem]. We have to see what the diagnosis is, so it will be a minimum of 24 hours before we know that and then I can say more."

    United are back in action on Wednesday with the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final against Forest, before returning to league action at home to Crystal Palace next weekend.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.