Manchester United fans are questioning Erik ten Hag's decision to start David de Gea against Nottingham Forest in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal. The two sides clash at the City Ground on Wednesday (January 25) night.
The Red Devils have not won a major trophy since 2017, and the pressure is on Ten Hag to deliver the goods in his debut season at Old Trafford. They will look to grab the ascendancy in their semifinal by winning away at Forest. No team has managed to do so since September last year.
Ten Hag has decided to start De Gea in goal once again despite a polarizing performance in the side's 3-2 defeat to Arsenal last time out. The Spaniard made two terrific saves but made questionable decisions, such as punching a shot rather than collecting it.
He has featured 27 times across competitions, keeping 12 clean sheets. While some Manchester United supporters have seen improvements from De Gea under Ten Hag, his role as the first-choice shot-stopper is still being questioned.
Meanwhile, Aaron Wan-Bissaka starts at right-back, with Victor Lindelof and Lisandro Martinez in central defense. Tyrell Malacia starts at left-back. Bruno Fernandes captains the side in midfield alongside the returning Casemiro and Christian Eriksen. The in-form Marcus Rashford is in attack alongside Wout Weghorst and Antony.
However, Ten Hag's decision to start De Gea again is drawing fans' ire. Here are some reactions from Twitter:
Ten Hag claims Manchester United play better with Anthony Martial in the team
Martial will miss tonight's clash with Forest as he continues to struggle with fitness problems. The French forward has only managed 13 games across competitions, scoring five goals and providing two assists.
Many are questioning the Frenchman's long-term future in Ten Hag's side due to his constant injury issues. However, the Dutch coach insists that Manchester United play better with Martial spearheading their attack. He said (via Manchester Evening News):
“He is not constantly injured, he is playing games. He has to work on that. On that fact, I agree. He has to be more available and he can’t do nothing for it in that sense and sometimes it’s also bad luck."
Ten Hag continued:
“But sometimes you don’t know what the reason behind it is. But when he is there, he is really important for us because we play our best football when he is available."
Martial joined Manchester United from AS Monaco in 2015 for €60 million. He has scored 84 goals and provided 52 assists in 282 appearances since then.
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