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Erik ten Hag would’ve subbed all 11 Manchester United players if allowed

David de Gea can't handle Josh Dasilva's tame effort, and his mishap hands Brentford the opening goal against Manchester United.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag isn’t interested in scapegoats after Manchester United’s 4-0 loss to Brentford on Saturday in London.

Nope. He’s mad at everyone.

Asked why he pulled Lisandro Martinez, Fred, and Luke Shaw out at halftime with United already down 4-0, Ten Hag said it’s because there are rules about substitutions.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Brentford vs Man Utd ]

“Down 4-0, the message is that it’s not possible,” Ten Hag said. “I would’ve changed the eight others as well if I could.”

The Red Devils were miserable in the first half and two sizable errors from David De Gea set them down a bad path.

Ten Hag felt he felt sorry for the fans, and he refused to tear into De Gea (while of course acknowledging the Spaniard’s errors).

He kept referencing the need for Manchester United to “take responsibility” for themselves on the pitch.

“What I asked them to do is play with belief and take responsibility for their performance and that’s what they didn’t do,” he said. “We have to see the truth and work on that. It’s only when we stick together and work hard that we’ll overcome that. Belief, you have to bring on the pitch yourself.”

[ MORE: JPW’s analysis from Brentford vs Man United ]

Ten Hag was quick to say that he played a role in the loss as well. Again, this wasn’t a day for singling out errors. Almost everyone was bad.

“The manager is very responsible and I will take that,” Ten Hag said. “I have to keep [building] that belief but they also have to get that by themselves. ... We are as a team in a difficult process. You would expect a different start. We did quite well [in preseason] but what happens in the past has been brought into this season and we need to change that quickly.”

David De Gea takes responsibility; Ten Hag backs goalkeeper

Full marks to Manchester United goalkeeper De Gea, whose errors hurt the team. He asked to take the post-match interviews and claimed total responsibility for the loss.

And his manager had his back.

“He’s a great goalkeeper,” Ten Hag said. “The first goals he knows... but still you have to stick to the plan and move on. Mistakes are part of football. You have to keep going, play as a team, and especially act as a team.”

De Gea, unfortunately, is used to taking to the microphone after big losses even when they aren’t his fault.

The United star is a true team leader and proffered pointed words about his team even in taking responsibility for the loss.

Essentially, he says United is soft right now.

“Other teams can concede one goal and win 5-1, 6-1,” De Gea said. “This is why I think I cost us three points. It wasn’t safe and it was 1-0 to them and I felt already it was going down, down, down. We have to react much better and be capable of scoring goals, at least.”

It’s not a good position for a team, having a star keeper who feels he can’t concede the first goal of the game because his teammates could well fall apart.


“I want to take responsibility,” De Gea said. “I cost my team three points today. It was a poor performance from myself. After the first mistake and the second it was very tough to be plain. It was a horrible day.”

“That can happen in professional football, a mistake like I make. Of course we should’ve reacted better. I should’ve saved the first shot and the result probably would’ve been different.”

Good luck.

Follow @NicholasMendola