Erik ten Hag’s derby selection backfires while Mikel Arteta appears to be building something special at Arsenal

Erik ten Hag is nothing if not a Serious Football Man, but there was an element of comedy about Manchester United’s unravelling at the Etihad. It was there in the comment from Ten Hag that Cristiano Ronaldo did not appear “out of respect for his big career”. That may or may not be a brilliant caustic joke. More significantly it was there on Casemiro’s face as he came on with the game already dead, having worked his way through five Champions League medals only to discover that, in fact, he’s not as good as Scott McTominay. So, some useful information there for the Brazilian. Ten Hag is the latest United manager caught between ill-fitting celebrity signings and coherent team building. A 37-year-old celebrity black hole was never likely to be a Ten Hag kind of guy. But not starting Casemiro, a midfielder who has been the best in the world in his role, made very little sense. Barney Ronay

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