Erik ten Hag - Manchester United manager

Oranges038

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We’ve beaten very beatable teams, teams you’d expect United to put a couple past. While I don’t really care what other teams are doing, their dips look like the exception, whereas our wins look like the exception.
Spurs lose a couple to injury and suspension- lose. Expected.
If Utd lost 2-1 to Wolves in injury time after being 1-0 up the whole game this place would lose it's shit.

Newcastle lose a couple to injury and suspensio - lose. Expected. If Utd went and lost 2-0 to Bournemouth you'd have a meltdown.

Utd have several key players injured, still string a few wins together. Expected wins and still not good enough.

Right.
 

DJ_21

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People may not like to here this but I feel SJR will let ETH stay on and continue his work. And then maybe reassess next season.
That’s what I want to happen. I’ve always been in the ETH in camp. Can’t work miracles with an halve injured squad.
 

tomaldinho1

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:lol: I’m not in here saying what’s the point in anything when it’s been the ‘same’ for 10 years. I said I’m happy with a win but the performance was poor, if you can’t handle that criticism then ask yourself why you can’t handle it.
Why would you categorize it as 'poor' is what many don't understand.

General consensus on the caf, which is a good indicator of average fan sentiment, is it some of the usual issues remained but, actually, it was quite a dominant if unspectacular display. They basically created nothing and we had numerous very good chances. If you finish a game with a win, a clean sheet and the biggest issue is your own finishing, you're in a decent spot. Obviously this is an anomaly this season but, in isolation, what constitutes this being a 'poor' performance?
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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"Martial...He's isolated Skrtel here..."
Considering he’s 18 and hardly played for the first team how do you make that statement? There’s a huge difference between playing u23 football and first team at PL level. Talk about putting him up against unrealistic expectations from the off!
I didn't say he's our best midfielder, just our most talented. The same way 18 year old Pogba was instantly the most talented midfielder at Juventus (barring Pirlo) when he walked in. It's not like Mainoo has much competition in that department, we literally don't have a midfielder than can dribble a football besides McTominay, and he can't pass a football so it balances out.

If Mainoo doesn't work out he doesn't work out, I'm not going to slate him and I'm not putting him "up against unrealistic expectations". But the most talented players should be given minutes to make an impact, especially when the status quo has been a trainwreck so far this season.
 

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It’s interesting that this thread almost continually circumvents the bigger causes of concern to revolve around wins, losses and injuries. Barely any analysis of the football being played or discussion of the causes for concern that would actually keep the manager in good graces whilst all this other stuff orbited.
 

VP89

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There is an injury problem, but the way people talk about it, you'd think Ten Hag's playing the kit man.

Lindelof started 14 PL games last season, 6 EL games, 4 FA Cup games, 3 EFL games. Dalot started 24 PL games, 8 EL games, 3 FA cup games, 3 EFL games. And United had a good season!
A lot of them aren't good enough to implement that sexy style everyone wants. They're good enough to grind out results under a proper manager, which is what they've been doing. But that's about it.
 

Alex99

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It’s interesting that this thread almost continually circumvents the bigger causes of concern to revolve around wins, losses and injuries. Barely any analysis of the football being played or discussion of the causes for concern that would actually keep the manager in good graces whilst all this other stuff orbited.
The football being played is hugely affected by the injuries though.

It's not really a surprise that constantly having to play second or third string players has led to less than stellar performances.
 

Gordon Godot

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Who would you replace with then? I’m curious as it’s clear we are stuck in this vicious cycle of sacking managers and hyping the next. Clearly the injuries has affect the dynamics of the team. I’m sure rashford will thrive if Shaw is playing at left back as both of them has great chemistry. You can go as far to put them as excuses but what excuse are you going to give when the next one fail?
Its some of the fans who always seemed determined to hype the next manager, then defend them too long when its clear they have lost it. Plus Moyes, LVG and Ole should never have been anywhere near the job, nor for that matter should Mourinho who was increasingly being found out. I was positive about ETH but his signings have been woeful, players he clearly wanted but then doesnt know how to use.
The football being played is hugely affected by the injuries though.

It's not really a surprise that constantly having to play second or third string players has led to less than stellar performances.
Injuries also need to be seen in context of his refusal to rotate last season, some leaks suggested unhappiness in club with that as well. Other clubs have injures and do OK. He also seems to not know how to use or want to use some key singings, including Mount, Antony, Amrabat and Reguillon. Our midfield and attack look utterly clueless and disjointed.
 

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The football being played is hugely affected by the injuries though.

It's not really a surprise that constantly having to play second or third string players has led to less than stellar performances.
But it's not just the performances. It looks like United is playing a different style due to these injuries than what EtH actually had in mind. And that's a reason for concern because this way the currently used backup players get used to something different than the first choice players. This is the seed for ongoing chaos and confusion.

Especially (as was just mentioned) EtH tends to rotate very little. Of course the backup players are not up to the task of playing his system when he never lets them get real match experience in it.
 

VP89

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:lol: I’m not in here saying what’s the point in anything when it’s been the ‘same’ for 10 years. I said I’m happy with a win but the performance was poor, if you can’t handle that criticism then ask yourself why you can’t handle it.
Rather ask the question why the performance was poor if we created 3-4 gaping chances and conceded little in our own end.
 

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The football being played is hugely affected by the injuries though.

It's not really a surprise that constantly having to play second or third string players has led to less than stellar performances.
That’s it? That’s the catch-all for the most important aspect in determining whether constructive progress is being made? How about in-game management or tactical approach or lineups. There’s far more meaningful discussion to be had along these lines than the semantics and micro analysis of who has more wins from team A, B or C. Almost always the teams playing the best football will find themselves on top, and for the longest periods of time too.

There seems to be more obfuscation than open discussion in these threads, which makes them entirely nauseating after the first loop because all entrenched positions are known and neither ‘side’ then listens to the other.

The bigger concern is how we play and why we play like that than the passage of a few wins and losses, yet it is a footnote in this thread.
 

Red in STL

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Why would you categorize it as 'poor' is what many don't understand.

General consensus on the caf, which is a good indicator of average fan sentiment, is it some of the usual issues remained but, actually, it was quite a dominant if unspectacular display. They basically created nothing and we had numerous very good chances. If you finish a game with a win, a clean sheet and the biggest issue is your own finishing, you're in a decent spot. Obviously this is an anomaly this season but, in isolation, what constitutes this being a 'poor' performance?
Seems to me that to be considered a "good performance" it has to be scintillating football, exciting as in all the excitement must be in the opponents bottom third of the pitch and outside of the so-called big clubs the rest are Championship sides and should just roll over to the might Red Devil machine
 

Alex99

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There is an injury problem, but the way people talk about it, you'd think Ten Hag's playing the kit man.

Lindelof started 14 PL games last season, 6 EL games, 4 FA Cup games, 3 EFL games. Dalot started 24 PL games, 8 EL games, 3 FA cup games, 3 EFL games. And United had a good season!
We are 12 games in.

Lindelof is the third centre back and started 14 league games last season. He has already started 8 this season.

Maguire, the fourth centre back, started 8 last season and has already started 5 this season.

Evans was brought in as a fifth choice, emergency backup, and has also started 5 games.
 

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Seems to me that to be considered a "good performance" it has to be scintillating football, exciting as in all the excitement must be in the opponents bottom third of the pitch and outside of the so-called big clubs the rest are Championship sides and should just roll over to the might Red Devil machine
That would be a bit much. But it should not be the case that Kopenhagen's manager is ranking after their win how this was his teams worst home performance all season
 

MackRobinson

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Says who. You? Because Meulensteen said The Glazers decided he was too old. Meulensteen didnt say Kane wasnt available.
Says common sense. Meulensteen doesn't work for United or Spurs, so he's just expressing second-hand knowledge at best or an opinion.

Do you think Levy was going to sell Kane for anything less than an astronomical amount to a PL rival?
Do you honestly think United could really afford that astronomical fee and wages? This isn't Football Manager or FIFA. You can't get every player you want.
 

miliebrowndivorceattorney

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Says common sense. Meulensteen doesn't work for United or Spurs, so he's just expressing second-hand knowledge at best or an opinion.

Do you think Levy was going to sell Kane for anything less than an astronomical amount to a PL rival?
Do you honestly think United could really afford that astronomical fee and wages? This isn't Football Manager or FIFA. You can't get every player you want.
https://www.theguardian.com/footbal...ressure-has-been-created-at-manchester-united

"

Meulensteen still sees Ferguson regularly; they live within walking distance of each other in Wilmslow, Cheshire, although Meulensteen’s work as the assistant manager of Australia’s men’s team takes him around the world. He’s about to catch a flight to Melbourne after our phone call, but as with Ferguson’s other coaching disciples, he has taken in a word of advice from his old mentor before the Socceroos’ upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

“If there are certain things I need to discuss, I always do, because I know whatever advice he gives will be valuable,” says Meulensteen, who recently released a book entitled United, Sir Alex and Me.

"

This guy, who often sees and contacts Alex Ferguson 'just saying second-hand knowledge'' being printed in one of the biggest and trustworthied newspaper in the world? You are being ridiculous.

If Meulensteen says The Glazers deemed Kane too old, I take that as a fact, whereas your credentials arent clear to me. Do you work for United? Spurs?
 

Red in STL

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That would be a bit much. But it should not be the case that Kopenhagen's manager is ranking after their win how this was his teams worst home performance all season
I don't follow them but he's probably right, his team was being dismantled until Rashford was sent off, they got back in to the game with a penalty that common sense tells you is never a penalty (as was the one we got) and a goal that should never have been given.

United's team performance was good, but silly individual mistakes cost us the game, EtH's subs weren't great but that's not why we lost
 

fallengt

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Nope, I expect us to improve once the manager has had time to coach the team and implement his ideas. I expect INEOS to hire a manager who can work with this bunch rather than go for Conte because he’s available.
And how do you know they can? Everyone thought they could fix this mess prior few months into the job then shit hit the fan and supporters want them to leave immediately .
Even if INEOS were super competent, which no way to know atm, still would take months to asset the squad. This fanbase couldn't decide Rashford was generational talent or not during hit piss poor season :lol:, you expect some strangers to know it better?
Every decision is a coin toss, right now.
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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Seems to me that to be considered a "good performance" it has to be scintillating football, exciting as in all the excitement must be in the opponents bottom third of the pitch and outside of the so-called big clubs the rest are Championship sides and should just roll over to the might Red Devil machine
No, it just has to be a single game where we comfortably defend well and create a reasonable amount of good chances. No one is looking for United v Roma every game, but instead some repeatable formula of creating chances and progressing play against teams that isn't just "give the ball to Bruno and have him hoof it up". We've rarely shown that 18 months in even in our best run of results.
 

Alex99

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But it's not just the performances. It looks like United is playing a different style due to these injuries than what EtH actually had in mind. And that's a reason for concern because this way the currently used backup players get used to something different than the first choice players. This is the seed for ongoing chaos and confusion.

Especially (as was just mentioned) EtH tends to rotate very little. Of course the backup players are not up to the task of playing his system when he never lets them get real match experience in it.
The players aren't suited to the style. It's one thing having a backup/rotation option in when they're surrounded by the usual first choice. It's a different thing entirely when half the line-up is backup/rotation options.

Of course such a drastic, forced change in line-up necessitates a Plan B.

He literally wants rid of some of the players he's having to start.

It's also blatantly not as simple as giving these players experience in the style. No amount of time will make some of these players proficient enough to play the way he wants them to.

That’s it? That’s the catch-all for the most important aspect in determining whether constructive progress is being made? How about in-game management or tactical approach or lineups. There’s far more meaningful discussion to be had along these lines than the semantics and micro analysis of who has more wins from team A, B or C. Almost always the teams playing the best football will find themselves on top, and for the longest periods of time too.

There seems to be more obfuscation than open discussion in these threads, which makes them entirely nauseating after the first loop because all entrenched positions are known and neither ‘side’ then listens to the other.

The bigger concern is how we play and why we play like that than the passage of a few wins and losses, yet it is a footnote in this thread.
But in-game management, tactical approach and line-ups are also hugely affected by injuries.

It's always going to be a huge caveat on the discussion.

The teams playing the best football also tend to have their best players available.

The discussion descends into "this team struggled against that team" because there's a massive chunk of posters who seem to be under the impression that City/Liverpool/Arsenal/Spurs (delete as applicable) finish the season with a record against the bottom ten that sees them walk out 4-0 winners every single time, so even when United beat these sides, this thread is bumped with hysterical whining about the manner of victory.

There's also a mass amnesia about reigning champions and then-league-leaders Liverpool suffering a similar defensively focused injury crisis, and going on a run far worse than United's start to this season.

There are debates to be had about aspects of Ten Hag's management, but a) until we're actually able to field something resembling a full-strength team, it's going to be difficult to determine whether issues are reflective of the current injury crisis or bad management, and b) it's near impossible to progress anything past the point of constantly providing much needed context to the sheer volume of "waaah we're shit ten hag's shit why aren't we winning 10-0" lunacy that fills thread.
 

Alex99

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... because the manager prefers to start him over Varane.
Who was clearly not fully fit.

For a fan of a club in another league, with absolutely no connection to Ten Hag, you're awfully obsessed with filling this thread with disingenuous, agenda-driven drivel.
 

tomaldinho1

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That would be a bit much. But it should not be the case that Kopenhagen's manager is ranking after their win how this was his teams worst home performance all season
That's probably true though? It was about as one sided as you can get until the red. Even then we still had enough chances to draw/win in my opinion.
 

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It’s interesting that this thread almost continually circumvents the bigger causes of concern to revolve around wins, losses and injuries. Barely any analysis of the football being played or discussion of the causes for concern that would actually keep the manager in good graces whilst all this other stuff orbited.
I tried getting some discussion going by posting quotes from Jonathan Liew's article in The Guardian, but nobody followed up on it. Let's try again then. It was this post:
There's more than that actually. From https://www.theguardian.com/footbal...r-united-chaos-so-has-gambled-on-embracing-it:

For those who are curious how this is contextualized (and can't be bothered to read the full article), here is part of the subsequent bit (there's more before and after):
But since the quotes don't come through in a quote, here's the bit about the stats that are currently looking positive for United:
While most of United’s metrics have fallen off a cliff this season, there are several important areas in which they have either held firm or even improved. High turnovers – defined as winning possession within 40 metres of the opposition goal – is one. United were sixth on this measure last season; this season they are top, with almost 11 turnovers per game. Passes per opposition defensive action – a measure of how fluently they are playing out from the back – are up 11%. Progressive passes are up 12%. United led the league for direct attacks last season and are third this time. The average speed of their attacks has increased.
And here is how Liew contextualizes that in terms of what United's play looks like right now (which obviously does not look quite so positive), and what it might mean for how that play may (or may not) evolve in the near future:
For all the talk of Ten Hag being a more pragmatic coach than his Cruyff-Guardiola lineage might have you believe, all this actually represents something of a daring gamble. Ten Hag’s ideas may have been his own, but he has also learned from his predecessors. He has seen how the obsessive search for control derailed coaches such as Louis van Gaal and José Mourinho.

He has seen how Solskjær was ultimately undone by the inability of his teams to form a coordinated press. And most important, he has decided that at a club as big and wild as United, where the noise is deafening and every defeat is a crisis, true stability will always be an illusion. You can’t tame the chaos. So you may as well embrace it.

In the short term, this has turned United into an objectively bad football team, brittle and unable to control games, prone to giving away goals in quick succession. Seven times this season United have conceded three goals or more (they only did it six times in the whole of 2022-23). But in their better moments, you can also see glimpses of how it may ultimately work. Late in the game against Copenhagen, United won a high turnover and created a golden chance for Scott McTominay that would have put them 4-2 up with 10 minutes left.

And so Ten Hag’s big gamble is that once these fine margins start breaking his way, once the defensive injuries clear up, once Højlund hits his stride, once Mount gets up to speed, United will finally have a defined and authentic style of play. A crowd-pleasing, commercially fruitful game of permanent transitions, executed by quick direct players who thrive in broken field.

Of course, it could all blow up long before that. Luton visit Old Trafford on Saturday and pretty much every scoreline from 3-4 to 0-0 to 7-0 is conceivable. United are always perfectly capable of failing again. But perhaps they are, at least, in a position to fail better.
 

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The players aren't suited to the style. It's one thing having a backup/rotation option in when they're surrounded by the usual first choice. It's a different thing entirely when half the line-up is backup/rotation options.
When the manager decides to play a style that only a part of his squad can implement it effectively means that he won't use the rest of the squad. Which is exactly what we have seen last season.

EtH took the risk to try implementing a style only a part of his squad can do well, and it payed off well last season.

Now he had to change his approach, is out of the cup, bottom of the CL group and luckily grinding out some results in the PL. The latter is great and doesn’t always happen when a team has this many injuries, I acknowledge that.

Nonetheless I believe that his lack of rotation and his willingness to leave players behind when his first choices are fit have made all this much worse than it needed to be.
 

stefan92

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That's probably true though? It was about as one sided as you can get until the red. Even then we still had enough chances to draw/win in my opinion.
Point is, he thought it was this one-sided because his players played badly. He should be thinking that this was inevitable if United as a team would be up to the level it should have.
 

Alex99

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When the manager decides to play a style that only a part of his squad can implement it effectively means that he won't use the rest of the squad. Which is exactly what we have seen last season.

EtH took the risk to try implementing a style only a part of his squad can do well, and it payed off well last season.

Now he had to change his approach, is out of the cup, bottom of the CL group and luckily grinding out some results in the PL. The latter is great and doesn’t always happen when a team has this many injuries, I acknowledge that.

Nonetheless I believe that his lack of rotation and his willingness to leave players behind when his first choices are fit have made all this much worse than it needed to be.
And this is a consequence of having a squad assembled by managers playing vastly different styles, as well as blowing big chunks of the transfer budget on individual players over the years, an issue that is compounded when those players are also not up to scratch.

If we actually want to see an effective modern style of football played, then we're going to need time to get the squad up to scratch.

It's simply fantastical to think that more game time last season would have Maguire and Lindelof playing like Varane and Martinez, or McTominay playing like Eriksen or Casemiro.
 

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And this is a consequence of having a squad assembled by managers playing vastly different styles, as well as blowing big chunks of the transfer budget on individual players over the years, an issue that is compounded when those players are also not up to scratch.

If we actually want to see an effective modern style of football played, then we're going to need time to get the squad up to scratch.

It's simply fantastical to think that more game time last season would have Maguire and Lindelof playing like Varane and Martinez, or McTominay playing like Eriksen or Casemiro.
All true. In the current situation I believe United should have focussed on a more balanced approach early on, so that for example Maguire and Varane could both fulfill the same tactical tasks, so that the whole squad would be usable.

United feel like a broken club on multiple levels and I do think it doesn't have to be as bad as it is.
 

Iker Quesadillas

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Who was clearly not fully fit.

For a fan of a club in another league, with absolutely no connection to Ten Hag, you're awfully obsessed with filling this thread with disingenuous, agenda-driven drivel.
Ten Hag specifically said that he did not select Varane for tactical reasons. He has said that multiple times. He even explained what some of those tactical reasons are.

What is "agenda-driven" is trying to defend Ten Hag by making up excuses for him that are contradicted by his actual words and actions.
 

Alex99

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All true. In the current situation I believe United should have focussed on a more balanced approach early on, so that for example Maguire and Varane could both fulfill the same tactical tasks, so that the whole squad would be usable.

United feel like a broken club on multiple levels and I do think it doesn't have to be as bad as it is.
I think that approach would have been a hiding to nothing for Ten Hag.

The expectation was that he'd come in and transform our style, which he tried, and even then found himself quickly having to adapt to the shortcomings of certain players (De Gea most notably).

If he'd toned it down even more just so backup players don't get exposed, he'd have been slaughtered.
 

Alex99

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Ten Hag specifically said that he did not select Varane for tactical reasons. He has said that multiple times. He even explained what some of those tactical reasons are.
Varane has been unavailable a couple of times already this season for fitness reasons, and has played about 20 minutes of combined football in the four league games around the City game.

That doesn't strike me as a player that's properly available.

As for Ten Hag explaining the tactical reasons for Varane being on the bench against City, you're going to have to link me to that. As far as I remember he said "tactics" when asked and refused to elaborate further when pressed.

He's since said form is keeping him out since, which is actually reasonably fair.

This still doesn't change anything about the clear injury issues at the club, particularly those suffered by defenders.

I'm not going to engage you further on this because, as I said, you've a weird, obsessive agenda here for a supposed Real Madrid supporter, and frankly its goes nowhere.
 

tomaldinho1

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Point is, he thought it was this one-sided because his players played badly. He should be thinking that this was inevitable if United as a team would be up to the level it should have.
As opposed to a manager coming out and saying, "they are just better than and us and thank feck for the red card?"
It's early season, he wants to boost their confidence and maybe even get them out of the group which would be a miracle for them, let's be honest though - we all watched the game and they were bloody terrible, whether that's because we really turned up or they were genuinely bad we will never know but I feel like you're reading a lot into a manager's comments there versus watching the actual game and making your own mind up.
 

MackRobinson

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https://www.theguardian.com/footbal...ressure-has-been-created-at-manchester-united

"

Meulensteen still sees Ferguson regularly; they live within walking distance of each other in Wilmslow, Cheshire, although Meulensteen’s work as the assistant manager of Australia’s men’s team takes him around the world. He’s about to catch a flight to Melbourne after our phone call, but as with Ferguson’s other coaching disciples, he has taken in a word of advice from his old mentor before the Socceroos’ upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

“If there are certain things I need to discuss, I always do, because I know whatever advice he gives will be valuable,” says Meulensteen, who recently released a book entitled United, Sir Alex and Me.

"

This guy, who often sees and contacts Alex Ferguson 'just saying second-hand knowledge'' being printed in one of the biggest and trustworthied newspaper in the world? You are being ridiculous.

If Meulensteen says The Glazers deemed Kane too old, I take that as a fact, whereas your credentials arent clear to me. Do you work for United? Spurs?
I think the opposite, and you are completely missing the point. For starters, what you have described is the textbook definition of second-hand knowledge regardless of who it's printed by. More importantly, even if they did want him, the chances of Spurs selling to United, especially given the interest by Bayern and FFP issues, were virtually non-existent. This has been widely reported.

So that left a sale as the likeliest outcome, and even though Levy let it be known he would be against allowing the England captain to join any of their domestic rivals, Ten Hag wanted United to test the waters.
Ten Hag may not have agreed with that calculation, given Kane’s proven pedigree, but he accepted the decision in the context of the budget once the realities of financial fair play had been mapped out to him. But Ten Hag stayed full of praise for Kane whenever asked about the player.
“Over the summer I know there were some talks between a few clubs in the background,” said Kane. “Bayern were a team I was really interested by, excited by; there weren’t really too many other discussions once they came in.

“It was down to Tottenham and Bayern. Manchester (United) are a great club, a really big club, but I decided to come here and am really glad I have.
https://theathletic.com/4877364/2023/09/19/manchester-united-harry-kane-transfer-ten-hag/

So, no United had slim to no chance of getting Kane..
 

Robbie Boy

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Who was clearly not fully fit.

For a fan of a club in another league, with absolutely no connection to Ten Hag, you're awfully obsessed with filling this thread with disingenuous, agenda-driven drivel.
He was the same with Rangnick too. It's very odd. Like I couldn't give a flying feck about who manages Real.
 
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Red in STL

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No, it just has to be a single game where we comfortably defend well and create a reasonable amount of good chances. No one is looking for United v Roma every game, but instead some repeatable formula of creating chances and progressing play against teams that isn't just "give the ball to Bruno and have him hoof it up". We've rarely shown that 18 months in even in our best run of results.
Sounds like a description of exactly what happened v Luton
 

ti vu

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Spurs lose a couple to injury and suspension- lose. Expected.
If Utd lost 2-1 to Wolves in injury time after being 1-0 up the whole game this place would lose it's shit.

Newcastle lose a couple to injury and suspensio - lose. Expected. If Utd went and lost 2-0 to Bournemouth you'd have a meltdown.

Utd have several key players injured, still string a few wins together. Expected wins and still not good enough.

Right.
We had ten starters out of XI for that game without the hindsight on Varane current bench status. And even that one is very decent (Garnacho). We could have well beaten with the chances we conceded to Wolves that games. Them, not getting the penalty for Onana's incident is lucky for us. People have the reason to be concerned because the first 2 games with 10/11 starters, we didn't look good (especially defensively and midfield control of the game). Transformational improvement with our best XI is still just hopeful but not guaranteed and still months away (due to Martinez new year return).

Not that Wolves is bad since they have been tricky to play against for the current top 6, even in their defeat to Liverpool. They won against City too, beside Tottenham. Just that you made a poor example to back your argument.
 

Oranges038

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We had ten starters out of XI for that game without the hindsight on Varane current bench status. And even that one is very decent (Garnacho). We could have well beaten with the chances we conceded to Wolves that games. Them, not getting the penalty for Onana's incident is lucky for us. People have the reason to be concerned because the first 2 games with 10/11 starters, we didn't look good (especially defensively and midfield control of the game). Transformational improvement with our best XI is still just hopeful but not guaranteed and still months away (due to Martinez new year return).

Not that Wolves is bad since they have been tricky to play against for the current top 6, even in their defeat to Liverpool. They won against City too, beside Tottenham. Just that you made a poor example to back your argument.
Really?

Utd won that game and there was still nothing but whining about the performance, the result and Onana.

Spurs basically scored after 3 mins and camped on their 18 for the rest of the game and conceded 2 injury time to lose.

If those results were reversed we'd be hearing about how great it was that Spurs won and how shit Utd were for throwing it away.
 

NZT-One

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Ehm, no, Meulensteen is quoted as being very much still in contact with Ferguson. Or do you suggest ferguson is also out for 10 years and doesnt know anything than the average fan?
And you think Fergie would talk to Meulensteen about important things like that only for him to run to the press? Really? Meulensteen also made remarks on Ole, saying that he hasn't been backed. The whole bit in the article doesn't give me an impression of somebody, who has a real substantial piece of information on the matter. On the contrary. It hits where he can be sure that fans will just happily ride it.

Don't get me wrong, if you want to believe it, you are obviously free to do so. I call BS. And I think, it is for a reason, that nobody picked up this thing. Imagine, one of the great English strikers being really in form with his current Club in Germany, being labeled as "too old" by the American Football team owners. Whatever information is given to the press (in such matters), has been declared as fine to publish by others. Sir Alex didn't do anything to openly confront the Glazers, why would he give his ok to release the kraken towards them for... a mere interview?

News is a tricky game. Never trust anybody. And iirc Rene is notorious for using the clubs name to gain some attention for himself.

I tried getting some discussion going by posting quotes from Jonathan Liew's article in The Guardian, but nobody followed up on it. Let's try again then. It was this post:

But since the quotes don't come through in a quote, here's the bit about the stats that are currently looking positive for United:

And here is how Liew contextualizes that in terms of what United's play looks like right now (which obviously does not look quite so positive), and what it might mean for how that play may (or may not) evolve in the near future:
I think the outlook here is a bit too optimistic. I mean, at the end of the day, those turnovers come at a price - good counterpressing will be deadly for us. I would agree though that this plan seems like something ETH could have had in mind all the time. And if it does, great. I still find it odd, how he uses the personnel for it. I mean, if that high turnover thing is such an instrumental thing, wouldn't Mount be the first name on the team sheet? And if those turnovers are what we are going for, why is our backline so slow pushing up when the attackers go for it (this is what creates those huge spaces in midfield which most of the time make every midfielder look like a complete fool?

I am sure, ETH has a plan and it could be very well cultivating this mindset and the injuries made this really difficult. To be perfectly honest, I'd still would be a bit uncomfortable. I mean, forcing how turnovers, afaik that is the blueprint for Klopps heavy metal football isn't it? And for all we know, he had to adapt this as well because it was too demanding for the players...