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Ex-Liverpool star discusses the confidence and leadership issues Man United bear

Ex-Liverpool Man Warnock Labels Manchester United a 'Fractious Team'

Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock didn't mince his words as he labelled Manchester United a "fractious team" following their recent defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Erik ten Hag's Red Devils entered the match aiming to bounce back to winning ways and initially dominated proceedings in the first 23 minutes at the Allianz Arena. However, their efforts unravelled when summer signing goalkeeper Andre Onana inadvertently bundled Leroy Sane's low-drive shot into the net, and four minutes later, Serge Gnabri doubled Bayern's lead with a precision shot into the far corner.

While Rasmus Hojland's goal early in the second half offered United hope, a penalty converted by 30-year-old striker Harry Kane, following a VAR check suggesting Christian Eriksen had intentionally handled the ball in the box, complicated their resurgence. Casemiro's determined effort brought a second goal for United, making it 3-2, but Mathys Tel hammered in Bayern's fourth from close range, seemingly sealing the game.

In a match that displayed the team's struggles, Stephen Warnock's assessment mirrored the concerns facing ten Hag's Reds. Speaking on BBC Radio 5, the former England international didn't hold back: "What you are seeing with Manchester United is a fractious team; they have confidence and leadership issues. There was no balance with the team, and I understand they were chasing it, but you do it with a shape and a foundation. Ten Hag will be tested to his maximum as a manager."

Warnock acknowledged some positive changes made by ten Hag, particularly the impact of substitutes Martial and Garnacho, but he pointed out the team's structural issues: "The changes were okay from Ten Hag, but then the shape of the team is wrong. The ability to release players has to come from a foundation, and that comes from the manager."

He further highlighted the challenges faced by players like Casemiro: "At one point, you look at Casemiro; he is playing centre-forward, leaving Musiala free who was relishing the opportunity. Casemiro is not being helped by Eriksen or Fernandes, and it is difficult for him to manage that position on his own."

As Manchester United grapple with their team dynamics and performance issues, Erik ten Hag faces a significant managerial test in reestablishing balance and cohesion. The road ahead is challenging, but the club and fans hope for a turnaround. Their next match is against Burley at Turf Moor.

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