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I think Ten Hag is right to lay down the law to any player not performing. I don’t criticise him for that. There are also players who clearly do still care, and unsurprisingly, McTominay, a player who as he said tonight has been at the club since he was 5, did very much care today and got you off the hook. I also thought Garnacho looked quite bright – probably because he’s still very young and full of beans.
What has undoubtedly exacerbated the situation has been the lack of impetus from some of Ten Hag’s signings. Just one very good player can make a huge impact on the team, just like Mane did when he came to Liverpool early in Klopp’s career. And there was a time we lost him briefly I think and we really struggled without him. And I think Ten Hag is partly struggling because I can’t see many recent signings that are uplifting you. That’s what help’s sustain and build success. The problem is he’s brought some of these players in and so it adds to the pressure. If some of the reports are true that he’s a bit of a disciplinarian, I’m not sure that helps, though I know some might argue that’s exactly what’s needed, you still have to maintain harmony.
At the end of the day, you cannot sack all the players all at once. You need a manager to bring harmony to the team, get results, sustain those results, bring in players that make a quick impact, and then offload the players you don’t want gradually over time. As I concede though, I don’t see any outstanding candidates to replace Ten Hag as things stand. So he will be given time I suspect, but he’s still got to get results. You have a relatively good set of fixtures ahead now, so the ship may be steadied. But I still have my reservations in the longer term.
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