Erik ten Hag explains Casemiro’s position, and it makes perfect sense

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has explained why he didn’t select Casemiro to start against Manchester City.

Casemiro started the game on the bench with Scott McTominay preferred. It’s been a bit of a regular theme for the star since his £60million move from Real Madrid.

Ten Hag explains Casemiro’s position

Ten Hag spoke after the game to Athleticism and explained he was simply reluctant to change a winning side, with McTominay key in wins over Liverpool and Arsenal in particular.

Ten Hag insists Casemiro will have a big role, and his stance is understandable. Scott McTominay had earned his starting spot.

McTominay had improved dramatically over the past few weeks, and dropping him from the squad for Casemiro could have risked upsetting a winning team.

United’s defeat means it’s probably time to make the switch now, with the 6-3 defeat a catalyst for United’s continued evolution under Ten Hag.

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Nonetheless, amid his explanation, Ten Hag’s decision to leave Casemiro out was criticized by BBC Sport’s Phil McNulty.

He writes in his match report: “Casemiro, well versed in these elite games, was kept on the bench. Surely this was the kind of contest Manchester United had in mind when they paid £70million to take on this vastly experienced and highly successful midfielder from Real Madrid?

Of course, using inflated fees for emphasis (BBC reports the fee could be ‘up to’ £70m), Ten Hag’s explanation clarifies why this particular match wasn’t the one. whom he chose to start the Brazilian. And everything is very easy with hindsight too.

McTominay also had the advantage of being fully rested last week, missing Scotland’s midweek game, while Casemiro started midweek for Brazil.

There is plenty of time for Casemiro, and no one doubts the defensive midfielder will be to be a regular starter for United. But throwing him into the derby could have done more harm than good, despite his experience.

Over the next few weeks, he should start to establish himself as a regular starter – but as Ten Hag points out, he has to earn it and it has to be a “natural” change for the team.

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