Raphael Varane unhappy with what happened against Manchester City

France player Raphael Varane.

REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Erik ten Hag continues to struggle to steady the ship at Manchester United, who suffered their eighth defeat of the season during the mid-week in just their 15th game of the season in all competition. This is now their worst start since the 1962/63 season.

The 3-0 humbling from Newcastle in the League Cup further underlined the manager’s failure to implement a solid tactical setup, as a much-changed lineup lacked balance – and more worryingly – a real desire to show they could replace regular starters, who have performed underwhelmingly in the Premier League.

After watching that performance from the Red Devils in front of their home support on the back of a 3-0 derby defeat, one might deduce that these players are no longer playing for Ten Hag. Such a situation usually occurs when a manager’s days at the club are numbered.

A report from talkSPORT suggests Manchester United board have no immediate desire to sack Ten Hag. However, it added that the Dutch coach’s relationship with some senior players is far from ideal.

Raphael Varane, who didn’t start against Manchester City for ‘tactical reasons’ was reportedly not happy at being dropped to the bench. The Frenchman was also not part of the starting XI against Newcastle, but this time the reason for the same was an illness.

The report added that there are suggestions that players were not best pleased with the lack of downtime they were handed during the club’s intensive pre-season tour in the summer.

We all have seen similar reports during the final days of Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reigns. Whether Ten Hag will meet the same fate or not will depend a lot on how his players respond in the upcoming games, starting with the trip to Craven Cottage to face Fulham this weekend followed by a crucial Champions League tie in Copenhagen.