Jamie Carragher
Former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher, was critical of Manchester United's display in a 2-1 home defeat against Fulham. Peter Powell/Reuters

Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag, has responded to criticism from former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher, regarding his tactics in his side's 2-1 defeat to Fulham this past weekend.

The game at Old Trafford saw Fulham clinch all three points after Alex Iwobi scored in the 97th minute of the Premier League contest.

Criticism was launched in the direction of ten Hag and his players for their poor display, with the result currently leaving the club eight points off of the UEFA Champions League spots.

Appearing on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football coverage, Carragher went in-depth on ten Hag's tactical set-up against Fulham and did not hold back in his assessment. The 46-year-old said: "It's about performance. They defend like a team I've never seen before."

When touching on what he felt Manchester United were doing wrong, Carragher explained: "They like to press high with a deep block. It's impossible. They like to do two things at the same time. You can only do one or the other."

According to Carragher, ten Hag's tactics have been an issue for a while, even when his side were winning. He stated: "I've chosen clips against Fulham, but I could have chosen clips from where they've won games like against Aston Villa. It's still the same problem."

The holes in ten Hag's tactics have been prominently pointed out by multiple pundits and Manchester United supporters recently. There is concern over there being a lack of identity in the team's playing style despite ten Hag being well into his second season with the club.

Prior to his side's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Nottingham Forest, ten Hag hit back at Carragher's observations, believing the ex-Liverpool player's viewpoint comes from a biased perspective.

He commented: "Some analysts are very objective in their comments, some are very subjective. Jamie Carragher, from the first moment on, has criticised and now he wants to make his point."

Carragher and fellow Sky Sports pundit and former Manchester United defender, Gary Neville, first crossed paths with the Manchester United boss in August 2022 after the club lost its first two games of the Dutchman's reign.

The two had a sit-down interview with ten Hag and were both perceived to have been overly harsh when they questioned ten Hag as the bigger issue at hand was the structural running of the club.

Carragher's remarks on Monday Night Football were not the first time this season that he had voiced doubts over the state of Manchester United. The Sky Sports pundit did so when Manchester City won 3-0 at Old Trafford last October as he claimed Tottenham Hotspur manager, Ange Postecoglou and Aston Villa boss, Unai Emery had installed a clear identity at their clubs in less time than ten Hag.

The former centre-back was also critical of the job ten Hag had done and the lack of progress at Manchester United in a column he wrote for The Telegraph earlier this season. This also prompted a response from ten Hag at the time as he disagreed with and dismissed Carragher's assessment.

In 2022, Carragher questioned ten Hag from a recruitment perspective as he did not believe Casemiro and Martinez would be good additions when the pair signed for Manchester United, insisting that the latter would not be a success in the Premier League due to his height.

Whilst Martinez has missed much of this season and Casemiro has recently looked out of form, the two did endure impressive first seasons at the club.

Ten Hag is accurate about Carragher criticising the job he has been doing since he was appointed Manchester United manager. The 54-year-old supposedly feels that Carragher's opinions on him are not constructive enough and are not worth acknowledging as he has a swayed perspective.

Being a former Liverpool player, it may only be natural for Carragher to be harsher about Manchester United considering the fierce rivalry between the two clubs. This may cause him to be somewhat biased in how he assesses ten Hag.

However, much of Carragher's concerns over ten Hag are not exclusive to just him and are a fair representation of what other fans and pundits currently think of Manchester United.

Doubts remain among the club's supporters over whether ten Hag will be in charge next season as the club's new minority owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, and his INEOS staff, are now in charge of football operations and may make a managerial change if performances do not get better.