Manchester United are in crisis. There can be little doubt. Beyond the bare statistics of becoming the first United manager to lose their first two matches since 1921 and presiding over the worst start to a Premier League season in 30 years, Erik ten Hag’s reputation is already tattered. He will need to be an exceptional manager, a man of considerable moral courage, to recover from this.
Beads of sweat glistening on his bare head, London evening sun beat down on the Dutchman as Brentford tore United asunder, gleefully taking them apart in the first half. It was as bad as anything produced in the dog days of David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, José Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjær, and far worse than any performance under Ralf Rangnick, the much-derided immediate predecessor.