Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana is underperforming for an obvious reason – Steven Railston

Nobody needed to tell Onana that he was responsible for Manchester United&aposs draw against Galatasaray and he began to immediately stew over his performance after the final whistle on Wednesday night.

Being a goalkeeper can be a lonely profession and Onana wanted the turf to swallow him whole in Istanbul, but there was nowhere to hide and he trudged back to the dressing room knowing he&aposd let the team down.

It feels harsh to lay the blame for the draw against Galasatray solely at Onana&aposs door but that&aposs the brutal reality of elite sport. There&aposs often no margin for error and the 27-year-old looked to be criticising himself internally.

Onana will know he must perform better and he&aposll be his own harshest critic. Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay insisted it was not his fault in their post-match media duties but privately they might think differently.

Because of the stature of the club, the first-choice goalkeeper role at Old Trafford is perhaps the most scrutinised No.1 position in the country and Onana has struggled with that pressure since signing from Inter Milan.

The goalkeeper&aposs first six months in Manchester have been disappointing and his regression in Instanbul was particularly alarming after a string of encouraging performances, which suggested he&aposd turned a corner.

The current version of Onana suggests he doesn&apost have the quality to start for United, but the goalkeeper who was exceptional in the Champions League last season certainly does and he must rediscover that form.

The pressure of representing United seems to have affected Onana&aposs performances and, crucially, his confidence has taken blows, which is a problem he didn&apost have when playing in the Netherlands or Italy.

Onana appears to be struggling with the fear of being criticised, the fear of letting his teammates down and the fear of failure. The importance of confidence cannot be understated and self-doubt has crept into his mind.

His loss of confidence has even affected his distribution, which is usually the strongest aspect of his game, and his kicking has sometimes been wayward instead of accurate and an asset for build-up play.

A pundit who has made close to 300 appearances in the Premier League even said Onana&aposs distribution was similar to David de Gea&aposs when discussing his Galatasaray performance on Sky Sports News on Thursday.

Interestingly, United hired performance psychologist Rainier Koers to observe their training sessions in December 2022 and club sources indicated that he watches the players a &aposcouple of days a week&apos.

Koers describes himself as a life coach who &aposguides people who get stuck in their lives due to major events&apos and Ten Hag said: “He is here continually the whole season working in the coaching staff under my management. He is working with the squad but also the staff, the departments, that is his job. One of his jobs [is] to get the right spirit in, individual and team.”

Ten Hag is understood to have recommended his fellow Dutchman Koers for a part-time role at the club and it seems highly likely that conversations at Carrington will have taken place regarding Onana this season.

The goalkeeper is clearly not performing to the standard he can and it feels like a confidence issue because the mistakes he committed against Galatasaray were too bad to be a true reflection of his ability.

United have conceded 33 goals this season, which is their most in any campaign at this stage since 1962-63, and Onana conceded just 36 goals in all competitions throughout the entirety of last season with Inter Milan.