Manchester United’s recent performance against Tottenham Hotspur has highlighted the team’s tendency to take it easy in matches, despite warnings from their coach Erik ten Hag to stay focused for the full 90 minutes. This lack of intensity is becoming a recurring theme, particularly in away matches when the team doesn’t have the support of their fans.
Despite boasting players such as Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes, as well as an excellent manager in ten Hag, United’s lack of fight is putting their place in the Premier League’s top four at risk. They also run the risk of being embarrassed in the upcoming FA Cup final against Manchester City, who have been treating every match like a final since March.
United’s lack of concentration and failure to maintain their intensity for the full 90 minutes was evident in their recent match against Tottenham. After starting with a scoreline of 2-0 in their favor, United allowed Spurs to come back into the game due to their failure to shut down counterattacks and being too passive in the final third.
For the first goal, United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka failed to get close enough to Ivan Perisic, allowing him to put in a searching cross that caused chaos in the box. While Luke Shaw bravely blocked Harry Kane’s shot, Christian Eriksen was lethargic in closing down Pedro Porro, who helped Spurs get back into contention.
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which had been quiet until then, suddenly came alive and the Spurs players fed off their fans’ energy. United struggled to contain them, and the hosts eventually equalized.
United’s lack of urgency to get back in front was noticeable, and they ended up settling for a draw. The team’s failure to go the extra mile to win was also evident in their recent match against Sevilla, where they drew 2-2 due to switching off late in the game.
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand commented on the team’s performance, stating that they let Spurs off the hook when they had them on the ropes. Ferdinand also expressed disappointment in United’s failure to go for the jugular and kill off the match when they had the chance.
United must learn to give 100% in every match, not just by fighting for every ball but also by playing on the front foot and trying to kill teams off. Failure to do so could put their place in the Premier League’s top four and their chances in the FA Cup final at risk.