Shaw claims Manchester United team has not always been picked on merit

Luke Shaw has claimed the Manchester United team was not always picked on merit under Erik ten Hag’s predecessors and that the new manager’s approach keeps “everyone on their toes”.

The England left-back lost his place to Tyrell Malacia after United’s 4-0 drubbing at Brentford in August but has returned to the starting lineup for the past two Premier League games against Newcastle and Everton. Shaw admits he has no issue with being dropped over a loss of form but believes that fair standard of selection has not always been applied.

Shaw said: “The good thing with this manager is that if you’re not playing well then you won’t play. In the past that’s not been the case but I think the good thing about this manager is that he’s keeping everyone on their toes. He makes sure that everyone is 100% every day. If you’re not at it then you won’t play. That’s a positive thing. We all know that. And for me I’ve just got to keep working harder.”

The 27-year-old says he could not argue with Ten Hag’s decision to drop him after a poor start to the season. “I didn’t really need him to say anything to me – I knew,” Shaw said. “I knew the first two games were nowhere near good enough. I completely understood that it was my time to come out of the team. The results were bad, my performances were not good enough.

“I just had to keep training hard every day so the manager could see I was training hard. I was just waiting for my opportunity and had to bide my time because the team were doing well and we were winning. You can’t moan; I just had to be there every day with the team, being involved and helping the team, whether that is starting or being on the bench.”