Man United 'do NOT have ball-playing defenders', insists Ian Ladyman

Man United ‘do NOT have ball-playing defenders’, insists Ian Ladyman on Mail Sport’s It’s All Kicking Off podcast, which makes £47m signing of Andre Onana all the more puzzling

  • Red Devils suffered a shock 4-3 loss to Copenhagen in the Champions League
  • Ladyman said the lack of ball-playing defenders will continue to cause problems 
  • ‘It’s Erik ten Games’ – surely he has to beat Luton now – It’s All Coming Up

Ian Ladyman has claimed Manchester United ‘do not have ball-playing defenders’ and he does not understand why they signed Andre Onana who is ‘good with his feet’.

The Red Devils endured a shock 4-3 defeat away against Copenhagen on Wednesday night to leave their Champions League hopes in the balance as Erik ten Hag’s side sit bottom of Group A.

United conceded two goals in two quickfire flurries after some risky balls were played out by their defenders.

They were expected to advance from the group alongside German champions Bayern Munich, but their fate is now out of their hands.

Discussing their exit, Dominic King told Ladyman on It’s All Kicking Off: ‘They were on the end of some terrible decisions but when you see Maguire and Varane playing passes across their box in the 90th minute like they were doing, that defeat was brought on themselves. 

Man United suffered a shock 4-3 loss to Copenhagen in the Champions League on Wednesday

The Danish side capitalised on some loose passing from Man United’s defenders on the night

Mail Sport’s Ian Ladyman said that Man United do not have any ‘ball-playing defenders’

Ladyman (pictured) also questioned why they signed Andre Onana who is skilled with his feet

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‘That ball should have been cleared so far after their half that it ended up in one of the stands.’

Ladyman then added: I still struggle to understand why Manchester United bought a ball playing goalkeeper when they haven’t got personnel across the back four who can use the ball. 

‘If you have a ball playing goalkeeper you have to have top class ball playing defenders and I don’t think Manchester United have got them and I think that is going to continue to cause them a problem. 

‘Although I do think they were unlucky last night and I do think they’ll beat Luton by a few goals, there’s a pattern with Manchester United.

‘It tends to happen that they struggle, they struggle, they struggle, and then all of a sudden they kind of find a performance and blow somebody away. And then they go back to struggling again. I think Saturday could be the explosion.’

Former United legend Paul Scholes also discussed the problems at the club, hinting that there is a problem once a team scores a goal against them. 

He told TNT Sports: ‘I thought they showed fight after Rashford was wrongly sent off until the 83rd minute. 

‘Where you could say they do slightly crumble is, once they concede one, they concede another straight away. It happened at 2-0 and happened again.’ 

United manager Erik ten Hag will be feeling even more pressure after Wednesday’s loss


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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