‘He wasn’t ready’… Ten Hag admits a Manchester United player chose him anyway

Erik ten Hag spoke after Manchester United’s away defeat at Crystal Palace.

The 7-0 drubbing at Liverpool will be a highlight, but Manchester United’s 4-0 defeat away at Crystal Palace was another horrendous defeat that Erik ten Hag presided over.

This time, the manager can at least hide behind the horribly long list of injuries that have piled up, impacting his squad.

United had to line up with a makeshift defensive duo of Casemiro and Jonny Evans.

Manchester United's Jonny Evans looks dejected after his team's defeat in the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United at...
Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Erik ten Hag on Jonny Evans

Jonny Evans returned to training last week and one of the effects of the injury crisis is that the squad is so thin that Manchester United are turning back returning players.

Harry Maguire picked up an injury a few days before the game and that meant an increased role for Evans, now 36.

Speaking to the club’s media after the 4-0 defeat, Erik ten Hag admitted that Evans was not ready. I chose him anyway, out of desperation.

He said: “Immense respect for Jonny he stepped in (for Harry Maguire) but he wasn’t ready to come on.

“He’s only had two days of training so that’s an example. But he played 90 minutes and it was a real reward that he did that.

“But of course he can’t play at the levels he normally can.”

Evans and Casemiro torn apart

Selecting a half-fit Evans and an out-of-position Casemiro sounds awful, and it turned out to be worse than that.

Both players were torn apart by Palace’s lively attack, both embarrassed as the Eagles opened two goals.

2-0 up at half-time, United finished. There was not even a hint of a reply in the second half and Palace added two more goals before the end of the game.

United could have gone for a youth option and started teenager Louis Jackson, who won a game at Selhurst Park in the FA Youth Cup.

If United suffer more injuries or simply decide that the pairing of Evans and Casemiro must not be repeated at all costs, then we could see Jackson get the nod this weekend.

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