“I do it to help my team-mates”: Casemiro comments on heavy criticism of his performances at centre-back

Erik Ten Hag had to deal with injury prones eating his squad from the inside, pushing him to adjust with the situation. The Dutchman then did some experiment, putting one piece in the place it is not supposed to be, like what he has done to Casemiro. 

The likes of Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, and Raphael Varane have been out due to injury for the past few matches. This makes Ten Hag to pull Casemiro to the backline, partnering the Brazilian alongside Johnny Evans. 

Casemiro comments on poor performances at centre-back

When United visited AMEX Stadium to face Brighton this afternoon, Ten Hag paired Casemiro with the newly-returned Lisandro Martinez. Speaking through the club’s official website, the former Real Madrid defender admitted he is not that used with the position but trying his best to do the role well for the sake of being professional. 

“I mean I’ve done it probably two or three times, in my time at Real Madrid, playing centre-half,” Casemiro said. “But everyone knows that I am a central midfielder. It’s not a role that I like to do but, you know what, I do it with the absolute best will in the world.

“As soon as the manager asks the question: ‘Would you be able to play in that role?’ Of course, I would. Absolutely. I do it to help the team, the manager, the clubs, the fans. That is what you do. And I do it, as I say, because I’m delighted to help out if I can.”

Doing the job pretty well with United received various results when he played as centre-half, Casemiro refused to be labelled so. He understands the circumstances Manchester United have been dealt with and vowed to do whatever the team required him to do. 

“Obviously, I prefer to be further forward in midfield but, if the rest of the side was as per normal, it would be easier to slot in, I’m sure,” he added. “But, as I repeat, I do it. I do it to help my team-mates.

“Everyone knows I’m not a centre-half. I’m a holding midfielder, that is what I’ve been all my life but my philosophy is you know when you’re in a team, you do things to help that team and help your team-mates out. That’s the key.”

The Red Devils could still finish seventh, one strip above their current position with a condition they beat Brighton and Newcastle United fail to beat Brentford. A win means more for Ten Hag whose position has been under the microscope following the team’s unpleasant results this season.