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Chris Armas-Ted Lasso comparisons branded 'cheap shot' amid reports Man Utd stars liken assistant coach to TV character

8:53 AM EST 2/11/22
Ted Lasso
The former United States international has been working with Ralf Rangnick since December 2021, but has not convinced everybody

Chris Armas is reportedly struggling to win over a collection of superstars at Manchester United, with certain members of the Red Devils squad allegedly comparing him to hapless TV star Ted Lasso, but former USMNT star Herculez Gomez says such criticism would be a “low blow and a very cheap shot”.

Interim United boss Ralf Rangnick drafted the American coach in alongside him at Old Trafford in December and is said to leave much of the work on the training ground to a man that flopped in his previous post at MLS side Toronto FC.

There are now suggestions that a squad which includes the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford have taken to likening Armas with fictional soccer coach Lasso – the star of a hit Apple+ show that sees the American asked to work outside of his comfort zone at AFC Richmond.

What has been said?

Another former United States international, ex-LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders star Gomez, feels reported comments from the Red Devils players are harsh, but also understandable given his old-school reputation.

He told ESPN: “They are comparing him because they think he doesn’t know anything about football.

“It is a low blow and a very cheap shot. The fact that Chris Armas is American does play a factor in this.

“They are still trying to garner respect worldwide. It’s a reality. It’s not a footballing nation, or a proper footballing nation in their eyes. But that’s all it is.

“Chris Armas can do one of two things – he can pack up and go home or he needs to change the way they feel about him, the way they look at him, and make them respect him. Either way, it’s a situation you can’t ignore.”

Gomez added on Armas’ supposed struggles in England: “It’s not surprising.

“As a player, if you have to respect somebody then it comes two ways – they have to earn respect. Chris Armas has not made them feel like he has earned it.

“You do that with where you were as a player or what you transmit on the field. He clearly appears to not be transmitting that kind of confidence to those players.”

Where has Chris Armas worked before?

Rangnick turned to a man he knows through Red Bull’s sporting operations when seeking assistance at United.

Armas worked alongside Jesse Marsch at the New York Red Bulls, before taking the top job himself in 2018.

He took over at Toronto FC in 2021, but was sacked in July of that year following a 7-1 defeat to D.C. United that left him with a record of one win, two draws and eight losses in MLS.

The 49-year-old had never worked outside of his homeland when accepting an offer from England and clearly has work to do if he is to convince with the Premier League heavyweights and shake off the Lasso tag.

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