red rage | 

Patrice Evra rips into Manchester United’s flops and points a finger at Erik ten Hag

Evra in unforgiving mood as United crisis continues to unfold.

Dutch courage: Erik Ten Hag's challenges include protests, uncooperative club owners and Cristiano Ronaldo being more intimidating than him© REUTERS

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has launched a blistering attack on the club’s faltering stars, as they prepare for Monday night’s showdown against Liverpool at Old Trafford.

United are rock bottom of the Premier League after losing their first two games of the season against Brighton and Brentford, with Evra refusing to hold back in his Betfair column.

"It's Deja Vu and I'm not surprised,” declared the Frenchman. “I see the same players, there's no confidence and I think we have got carried away with the pre-season. When the league starts things are totally different, sometimes I even prefer to have a bad pre-season, then it means you have to work hard, your legs are heavy. When you're too sharp in pre-season and you look good, that means you're not working hard enough.

“We blame the board, the manager, and many people. But what about the players? I always have so much respect for the players but now I think it's time for them to take some responsibility.

"The manner of the defeat against Brentford tells you that this team is traumatised. I'm not surprised by the result, you can see the body language. I don't ask those players to play amazing every game, but to fight. If they don't fight anymore it's because those players don't want to be there and they don't respect the badge. Let's be clear. Brentford were 4-0 up after 35 minutes. When I saw that I wasn't surprised, and that's the worst part. What did we expect after seeing the same midfield, the same team, what does anyone expect?

"People are comfortable, people are enjoying their money and their lives and that's why when it's like this, I've had enough. You can't take money off the club just to feel comfortable, you have to fight on the pitch. That's why I think the players have to look at themselves and question if they are destroying their legacy.

Erik ten Hag didn’t escape criticism from Evra, as he suggested the Dutchman has made mistakes by allowing the United crisis to gather momentum since his arrival as head coach this summer.

“I also blame Ten Hag, he's been fooled by all those players, the same way other managers have been fooled by them,” stated Evra.

"In pre-season they looked so good, and he would have been excited to make them even better, but no. Psychologically they are broken. Every time they face a difficult challenge, those players won't overcome it. It's been like this for years and it's the same thing, it doesn't even hurt anymore.

“People aren't blaming Ten Hag, but I'm sorry, he came in like 'I can do it', and he can't until those players leave. We have to rebuild everything and with those players we won't go anywhere. I'm sad because I never like to criticise the players, and when I see them I say 'hi' with a smile and they love and respect me. But now, I'm hurt so bad I have to tell the truth to them face to face.

Patrice Evra

“I don't know if Ten Hag wanted different players. I don't know if he wanted to get rid of some players but they couldn't because their salary was too high. That's why I'm angry with the players because it's down to them. It's down to them to say 'you know what, I've been here many years and I don't have the level anymore so I'm going to another team, I want half of my salary to get another team.'

“Ten Hag has come from the Dutch league, he wants to play from the back. You can't do that with the players he has. De Gea can't play from the back. He's brought in Lisandro Martinez and everyone has questioned his height. I played centre back, but I can jump and win the ball against Peter Crouch, so this is the difference.

"I never blame a player's height but you have to be able to jump. I remember myself, when we played against Bolton I was playing against Kevin Davies, that's when Sir Alex Ferguson said 'OK, Evra can play against Stoke, Wolves, against those big teams.' He could see I could handle big players, where the majority of their game was in the air, and I enjoyed it.

“Ten Hag needs to adapt and realise that the Premier League is different, physically you need to be ready. I struggled in my first six months. I thought I could come in, play nice and easy, but no. After that, all that summer I was in the gym getting stronger, getting ready to jump and win the ball. That's when I really started my United career. I'm still giving him time, it's too soon to say someone isn't up for the job. From my experience and what I've seen in the past, it doesn't look good for him.

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