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Doom scroll? Why Garnacho should be more worried about Man Utd teammates than Ten Hag after social antics

COMMENT: Alejandro Garnacho will learn from this. His Dean Court hook at halftime was one thing, but the fallout from his post-match social media activity is something else altogether.

As we say, the Manchester United winger will learn from it. Supporting critical posts of his substitution may've felt good at the time, but it won't go down well with those around him at Carrington today - and no, we're not talking about his manager.

Indeed, this column wouldn't be surprised if Erik ten Hag was happy with Garnacho's reaction. Of course the headlines and the fabricated claims of division would be unwelcome. But Ten Hag would want his young winger angry. Upset. And determined to prove him wrong. Garnacho now knows - if he's sloppy with his control in United's half. If he doesn't track back when required. He's not going to stay on the pitch. It was a lesson for the youngster and one Ten Hag will be confident Garnacho heeds.

But the big issue is the insult Garnacho has shown his teammates - particularly his replacement at halftime, Amad Diallo, and senior colleague, Marcus Rashford. Those two posts by Mark Goldbridge, of the United Stand, as much as they were directed at Ten Hag, the greater insult was for Amad and Rashford.

"Garnacho has been one of our best players this season," Goldbridge first posted - and was approved by Garnacho.

"Poor first half but taking him off at half-time and holding him up as the problem is a joke. Many have done much worse week in week out and are still out there."

Then another, again with Garnacho's support, stated: "Ten Hag subtly blaming Garnacho in the post match press conference...not a good look throwing a 19-year-old under the bus who has actually delivered for you this season.

"But then again he's clearly scared of upsetting the bigger earners."

It's not stirring to suggest that both Rashford and Amad would be upset if they'd come across such claims in their media feed. For this column, Amad was excellent in that second-half. It was clearly the Ivorian's best performance in a United shirt. The idea that he should be forced to wait for his chance even when Garnacho is so flat is ridiculous - and insulting.

And then you have Rashford. Now, of course, he wasn't at his best on Saturday. But again, Rashford seeing Garnacho approve a post suggesting Ten Hag is favouring him over his young teammate isn't going to sit well. Yes, you want Garnacho challenging Rashford for his place. Pushing him. Pressuring him. But that's for the training pitch and matchday. You don't take a shot at teammates in public - and certainly not through a third party on social media.

So lesson learned? You hope so. And you also hope Rashford and Amad, along with anyother teammate who felt slighted by Garnacho's actions, don't let things linger. Indeed, they shouldn't. Certainly Ten Hag won't do so. The headlines will infer it should be he who feels most insulted. But the Dutchman knows young players. Their temperaments. And he knows Garnacho will have been letting off steam.

A score draw at Bournemouth with this Manchester United team is a good result. Again, it was a mix n' match XI that Ten Hag was forced to throw together. But it was done with an eye on the future. Willy Kambwala at the back. Kobbie Mainoo in midfield. Rasmus Hojlund and Garnacho, then Amad, in attack. Ten Hag could easily have gone with Sofyan Amrabat and Christian Eriksen during this injury run, but he's stuck with his youngsters. He's not getting credit for it. But United will benefit from this difficult moment by the manager going with youth and development rather than trying to win a game with senior players being fielded out of position.

Eriksen, particularly, still has much to offer. But Ten Hag has resisted holding back Mainoo or Garnacho to include the Dane. It's clear the manager is using this situation to accelerate the progress of his young players, even if it means dropping points.

And he's been rewarded. Amad on Saturday the latest to show he has what it takes to live - and thrive - in this company. Just as he did in that FA Cup classic against Liverpool, Amad grabbed his chance with both hands. He was lively. Energetic. Full of tricks, confidence and a good show of defensive discipline. It was 45 minutes, sure, but he looked every bit a Manchester United player on the day.

So - potentially - he's found another, has Ten Hag. Of course, Amad has been held back by his manager this season. But his performance - again - suggests Ten Hag, when it comes to managing young players, actually knows what he's doing.

Something Garnacho would do well to consider the next time he indulges in a bit of doom scrolling.

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Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie


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