Erik ten Hag will anger Garnacho if he abandons key Man Utd principle at Fulham

What has gone wrong at Man Utd?

Alejandro Garnacho may be left fuming if Erik ten Hag snubs him from his Manchester United starting line-up against Fulham on Saturday afternoon. Question marks loom over Marcus Rashford’s status after Ten Hag slammed his post-Manchester derby antics in Friday’s press conference.

United travel to Craven Cottage looking to return to winning ways after back-to-back 3-0 defeats to Manchester City and Newcastle United at Old Trafford over the past week.

Last Sunday’s thumping at the hands of City left Ten Hag’s side eighth in the Premier League, 11 points behind leaders Tottenham Hotspur.

And Rashford – who has scored just one goal this season – ruffled fans’ feathers when it emerged that he had been to a Manchester nightclub hours after the derby.

Rashford was celebrating his brother’s birthday but received criticism, considering Ten Hag ordered his out-of-sorts squad back in training the following morning.

On Friday, Ten Hag branded the 26-year-old’s behaviour ‘unacceptable’ but confirmed they had dealt with the matter internally.

“I am aware of it. I spoke with him about it. It is unacceptable. I told him, he apologised and that is it. It is an internal matter,” Ten Hag explained.

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Rashford started on the bench in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup loss to Newcastle, replacing Garnacho for the final 25 minutes.

But he was one of seven changes Ten Hag made, doing little to indicate his omission from the starting line-up was a disciplinary decision.

It will be interesting to see if the Dutchman repeats his treatment of last season, though, and keeps him on the bench for Saturday’s trip to west London.

Rashford was dropped against Wolves in United’s final game of 2022 after oversleeping, making him late for a team meeting in the build-up.

Ten Hag reaped the rewards for his strict stance, bringing Rashford on in the second half and watching him score the winner in a 1-0 triumph at Molineux.

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It was the first time the United No 10 had netted in three successive games since December 2019, and he went on to enjoy a career-best 30-goal season.

Garnacho started that day, missing the best chance of the game before making way for Rashford.

And he could be sorely disappointed not to keep his place from midweek if Ten Hag takes a different approach than last season.

That said, not one player who featured in the humiliation against Newcastle will likely argue to retain their starting berth in Saturday’s must-win clash.

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