Erik ten Hag explained why Luke Shaw played at centre-back against Man City

  • Erik ten Hag reveals why played at centre-back against Manchester City.

Erik ten Hag explained why Luke Shaw played at centre-back against Man City
Erik ten Hag explained why Luke Shaw played at centre-back against Man City

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has explained why he decided to play Luke Shaw at centre-back against rivals Manchester City.

The left-back continued recent trend of partnering Raphael Varane in the middle of back four, despite Lisandro Martinez and Harry Maguire returning to fitness.

But Ten Hag has now admitted that Shaw was the ideal counterbalance to keep Erling Haaland quiet, which is why he was given the start in the final 2-1 victory.

Firstly discussing Shaw’s slow start to the 2022/23 season, Ten Hag said: “I that he’s so honest. After the second game he didn’t play and said: ‘I fully understand, my performance is not right’.

“But from the first day in training at pre-season he was working really hard and you can see when he has the right approach he’s top player – I don’t mean only as team player, he’s a leader.


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“He’s showed lot of leadership capacities – he’s the example at this moment – and with his skills and with his physical power he brings lot to the team. But now also with his mentality.

“He’s an example of how to win big games. I’m really with his development. I think it’s been huge either at centre-half or left full back, he’s great player and great personality for the dressing room.”

Explaining the tactical match-up against Man City, Ten Hag added: “It is big decision but I think when you analyse the profile of Haaland and the combination with [Kevin] De Bruyne it was also the right decision.

“Because Luke has the physical power to compete with them and also has the tactical view to make the right decision and technical skills to play in that position.

“So I think it matched really well but I think in other games he can contribute even more on the left in the wide positions, so it’s tactical choice and we can see from game to game what we need.

“And I think we have more players in our squad who have the capacity to multi-functional and we can use that as weapon in games.”

Haaland, the Premier League’s top scorer this season with 21 goals, was kept quiet for much of the match at Old Trafford as United came from behind to secure victory on derby day.

 

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