Ten Hag's perplexing United evaluation clashes with Ratcliffe's forthright "misery"  

Sir Jim Ratcliffe called watching Manchester United over the past decade as "complete misery"   

earlier in the week. Erik ten Hag's odd evaluation of this latest anemic display and the team's direction under his watch may have clashed with United's new minority shareholder's honest view of things.  

Ten Hag insisted United deserved to defeat Fulham and that the “bigger picture looks very good”.  

. He seemed to forget that this well-deserved loss was United's 10th of the Premier League and the continuation of a troubling pattern that left you wondering how long Ratcliffe and his Ineos team can continue in such a mess.  

Eight points separate them from fourth-placed Aston Villa, and Manchester City's match at the Etihad Stadium might widen the margin.   

United's chances of playing in next season's Champions League may depend on England getting a fifth qualification position, although Spurs are ahead of them and will do well to catch them.  

Ten Hag again blamed injuries for United's shortcomings, but he didn't explain how his first-choice midfield of Casemiro,  

Kobbie Mainoo, and Bruno Fernandes could allow Fulham's Andreas Pereira, Sasa Lukic, and Harrison Reed so much space  

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