Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is still spreading his protective hood to protect his errant goalkeeper Andre Onana and has refused to blame the Cameroon goalkeeper despite his two mistakes contributing to a 3-3 draw with Galatasaray on Wednesday.
With this draw, United’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout rounds are now hanging by the proverbial thread after they twice surrendered two-goal leads at Rams Park. Ten Hag’s team had initially led 2-0 and then 3-1 but Onana’s blunders gave way to Hakim Ziyech’s free kicks either side of half-time which now leaves them bottom of Group A.
“He is OK,” said Ten Hag, eager to cover up for the goalkeeper he had gone all out to sign the previous transfer window.
“As I said, it is not about individuals. Of course, individual errors in football can make a difference and you take responsibility for it, but it is always about the team.
“This team is good, all the players in the squad are good and deserve the best, to play for Manchester United, because they are brilliant players. And that counts for the whole squad.”
Despite having won only one of their five games, United’s have not yet been eliminated from the Champions League although their chances of reaching the round of 16 are slim. They would need to dig deeper than they’d ever dug for a long time to beat Bayern Munich at Old Trafford on matchday six while hoping fervently that Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen draw, as a win for either team will snuff out United’s faintly flickering flame.
Optimistic as always despite staring harsh reality in the face, Ten Hag thought highly of his team, although, in all truth, they were impressive for large spells against Galatasaray, faled only by their defensive vulnerability.
“I think as a team we played very well,” added Ten Hag.
“We win and lose together. You see the progress in this team. I take many positives from this game. Some mistakes, we played like I want my team to play. It was enjoyable to watch that: proactive, dynamic, brave and we scored great goals.
“Even after we had some setbacks, we kept going until the end and we should have won with big chances from Scott McTominay and Facundo Pellistri. Of course, I am disappointed because we should have managed the game better, we will learn from that.”
‘Learn from that’?
Mate, It’s high time to move on ahead and deliver without any more delays, instead of taking your own sweet time looking behind to see what you can learn from your past mistakes.