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'He's playing for a fraud': Ex-Leeds star's savage attack on 'God's gift' Eric ten Hag after Casemiro brain snap

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14th May, 2024
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Former Premier League striker turned pundit Michael Bridges has launched a staggering attack on Manchester United manager Eric ten Hag in the wake of Casemiro’s moment of madness against Arsenal.

The Brazilian, who has been forced to play at centre back for injury-hit Man United, was at fault for the only goal in the 1-0 loss to Arsenal on the weekend, failing to move out quick enough in defence to allow Kai Havertz to set up Leandro Trossard for the only goal.

But Bridges, who played in the Champions League for Leeds after making his Premier League debut for Sunderland and is an expert commentator for the Premier League official broadcasters, put the recent decline of Casemiro – and the failure of his fellow Brazilian Antony – at the feet of the Dutch manager.

He unleashed on ten Hag on the Optus Sport Football Podcast this week as fellow panellists – former Premier League and Socceroo goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and Spanish football expert Phil Kitromilides – questioned Casemiro’s form freefall.

 Erik ten Hag the head coach / manager of Manchester United applauds the fans as walks off at full time during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on May 12, 2024 in Manchester, England.(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Erik ten Hag the head coach / manager of Manchester United applauds the fans as walks off at full time during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on May 12, 2024 in Manchester, England .(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

“I do not know how this world-class, elite, central defensive midfielder has dropped off mentally and physically so much,” said Kitromilides.

“I can tell you, Phil. Because he is playing for a fraud – his manager,” said Bridges.

“Honestly, what that guy ten Hag has done this season at Manchester United and to hear his interviews after the games, he was talking that ‘we are the most entertaining team’ this season. 

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“The guy is living in a world of… I do not know whether he is trying to protect his job, but you cannot come out with stats and not back them up because they are false stats that he is seeing.

“And then you are playing Casemiro at centre-half with Jonny Evans.

“I know there have been injuries, but please. Some of the things he has done this season, the decision with Scott McTominay not wanting him, not wanting Harry Maguire, they actually turned out to be the players that saved him this season. 

“He brought in Antony. He has been an absolute disgrace. He was slagging his own manager off when he was walking off the field the other day with Mason Mount. So he dropped him and Mount for this game.

“I just think the quicker Manchester United get rid of this guy the better it is, and the better the Premier League will be, because I am sick of having managers like him in the league that think they are God’s gift when they have got nothing to give.”

Schwarzer disagreed that Casemiro’s decline – aged 32 – is purely down to the manager.

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“I think also when you look at the way he has performed this season or not performed this season he has lost a stride in pace. I think definitely, mentally, he has dropped off,” said Schwarzer.

“I am not buying you blaming the manager full stop. I don’t blame that. If that is the case, if he has dropped off purely because, the manager is that bad and he is clueless.”

Bridges responded: “I don’t say clueless tactically. He’s just got nothing to offer

“When I have met him, when I have seen him, when we have watched him, the players look so demotivated .I have been in dressing rooms where you have lost your manager. That dressing room is gone, mate.” 

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