Raphael van der Vaart has criticized Erik ten Hag’s team selections over the last month, calling him “very stupid” in the process.
The former Tottenham Hotspur playmaker took issue with Ten Hag facilitating Casemiro’s entry into the squad and says the Brazilian should have been put straight into the starting eleven.
Casemiro joined late in the summer transfer window, with suggestions that he needed to improve his fitness before he was ready for Premier League football.
He has made just one start against Real Sociedad in the Europa League group stage and has made five appearances from the bench.
That has left him with just 224 minutes of club football since his €70m transfer was completed on 22 August.
A large part of that is down to Scott McTominay’s improved form, but Van der Vaart believes the academy graduate should never have had the chance to build on his strong performance against Liverpool.
“Ten Hag should have started playing Casemiro right away.
“McTominay starts to act and Man United start to win and then of course you can’t get McTominay out of the team anymore.
“I find this very stupid of him because you are creating your own problem.”
The Red Devils achieved four league wins in a row with McTominay in the team, but that streak was undone by yesterday’s 6-3 loss to Manchester City.
McTominay put up good defensive numbers in the derby: he made four tackles, won four duels and made a crucial goal-line clearance in his hour on the pitch.
But during the first half his lack of composure on the ball gave up possession in dangerous areas creating chances for the Citizens.
Ten Hag’s insistence on continuity over adapting to the opponent apparently did United no favors at the Etihad, but it will certainly be interesting to see whether or not yesterday’s performance inspires a shake-up in terms of team selection during the hectic calendar this month.