Manchester United’s recent comeback against Brentford, marked by Scott McTominay’s two injury-time goals, has brought a sense of relief to Old Trafford. However, manager Erik ten Hag is aware that the team still faces numerous challenges, especially as they currently sit 10th in the Premier League table and last in Group A in the Champions League after consecutive losses.
Marcus Rashford, who was United’s top scorer last season with 30 goals, has been struggling this term. He has only found the net once in his first 10 games and has been substituted during each of the last three matches. His performance so far this season mirrors his struggles from the previous one which followed another high-scoring campaign. Despite setting up a goal for Rasmus Hojlund recently, he hasn’t yet established an effective strike partnership with him.
The Brazilian midfielder Casemiro has also had a disappointing start to the season despite being United’s leading scorer with four goals so far. The 31-year-old player seems to be lacking form compared to his past performances. Ten Hag replaced him at half-time during their match against Brentford after he lost possession leading up to Mathias Jensen’s opening goal.
Mason Mount’s £60m move from Chelsea raised questions about where he would best fit into Manchester United’s lineup. After missing five games due to injury and having little impact on those he played in, it remains unclear how best to utilize him within the squad.
Andre Onana’s transition into English football following his £47.2m transfer from Inter Milan hasn’t gone smoothly either. The Cameroonian goalkeeper made an error during their Champions League defeat against Bayern Munich and could have done more to prevent Jensen’s goal for Brentford.
Injuries have significantly impacted United’s poor start to the season with key players like Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Tyrell Malacia suffering from long-term injuries. This has led to Ten Hag having to frequently change his defensive lineup.
Despite these challenges, the team is making efforts to rebuild their unity and morale. The manager recently organized a barbecue for the players and their families at Carrington in an attempt to foster camaraderie within the squad. With bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United up next followed by FC Copenhagen, Manchester United will need all the solidarity they can muster.