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Gary Neville blasts Ten Hag tactic affecting Bruno Fernandes, drawing stark contrasts to Guardiola’s style

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Gary Neville blasts Ten Hag tactic affecting Bruno Fernandes, drawing stark contrasts to Guardiola's style

Gary Neville has thrown shade at one of Erik ten Hag’s tactical decisions at Manchester United, highlighting a move that Pep Guardiola would allegedly never consider for his Manchester City side.

Neville goes on to argue that this particular tactic is hindering the effectiveness of none other than the Red Devils’ maestro, Bruno Fernandes.

With Manchester United languishing in a disappointing seventh place in the Premier League, a staggering eight points adrift from fourth-placed Arsenal, and facing setbacks in the Champions League and League Cup, the pressure is mounting.

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It’s not just the on-field struggles that are raising eyebrows; Erik ten Hag is under scrutiny for his handling of the Jadon Sancho situation and apparent favoritism within the squad.

Neville points out that Antony, despite a lack of goal contributions this season, often gets the nod as a starter, a move believed to have irked Sancho.

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Man Utd’s most recent game was the Old Trafford clash against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

Man Utd twice took the lead through Rasmus Hojlund and Marcus Rashford respectively, only to be pegged back by Spurs goals from Richarlison and Rodrigo Bentancur either side of the break.

Gary Neville, who made 602 appearances and won 12 Premier League titles during an illustrious spell at Man Utd, has now provided his take on what might be going wrong at the club.

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He has questioned why Ten Hag is giving key player Bruno Fernandes the freedom to roam, as this is something Man City would never do. The pundit thinks it is harming Man Utd’s threat, rather than helping them to be a better, more rounded side.

“Any team that is anything at all, you see repeated pass patterns and combinations,” he said on the Stick to Football podcast.

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Elite Man Utd star should not be playing ‘everywhere’ – Gary Neville
“I think about Bruno Fernandes, and I watched him on Sunday, he’s obviously the best player in terms of talent – but he’s everywhere.

“He must be being told to go and do what he wants. I don’t think Bruno Fernandes is that type of guy.

“If, for Pep Guardiola, a player plays out of position for a minute or two, he’s on the sideline saying, ‘Get back into your position’, and I think Ten Hag is giving him the freedom to go everywhere, and actually that means you can never have a combination or a pattern – when you’ve got your main midfield player everywhere on the pitch.

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“It’s almost like 20 years ago, where your number 10 was given licence to play. That’s gone now, you have to fit within a combination and pattern system and attacking shape, and that’s the bit that I think Bruno is told he must be able to go everywhere.

“I never see Ten Hag going up to him and telling him to get back into position.”

As the Red Devils cling to their last hope for silverware in the FA Cup, where they’re set to clash with League Two outfit Newport County in the upcoming fourth-round fixture on Sunday, January 28, the stakes are higher than ever

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Neville’s sharp critique adds fuel to the fire, sparking debates and discussions about the direction of Ten Hag’s tactics and the impact on key players at Old Trafford.”

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