Erik ten Hag - Manchester United manager

Valencia Shin Crosses

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"Martial...He's isolated Skrtel here..."
I think it's an easy criticism to make but we play them deep because they have no recovery pace, while if we had two deep midfielders dropping we'd essentially be inviting teams to control possession. What you are criticising here can be rectified with one deep sitting midfielder, which we saw against Everton, someone who has a brain and the ability to execute.

I can't say Onana losing us the win here is down to Erik. We clearly needed a new keeper in order to play out from the back, it's just a huge shame that Onana has cost us so dearly.
I'm not talking about the result necessarily today. I'm talking about how our defensive structure (and even pressing structure early on in the year when we played a high line) is so poorly organized. It's why we always look like conceding even if we've dominated a game. And when you add in the fact that our midfield likes to go play striker in an end to end game, it's even worse.
 

BabySinclair

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I (and probably most of us) knew at 2-0 and 3-1 for us that we wouldn't win this match.....and that is really crazy considering that was just Galatasaray and not for example Real Madrid.
 

Zora

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Keep him for the rest of the season and identify a world class manager for the summer. I don't care about the Top 4 Cup - it's pointless getting into the CL just to get embarrassed by crap teams like Galatasary anyway. I like ETH and think he'd be a good fit for an Aston Villa. But Utd are a behemoth of a club and we swallow managers whole. You've either got it or you haven't.
 

kerrygold

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Ten Hag is just so inflexible and he cannot see that he has zero structure in midfield, so other teams are constantly able to target us in that area.

Of all the times to use a double pivot, going away from home in Europe after shipping eleven goals in your previous 4 games is the time, but no he continues with a single pivot as we watch the same thing happen over and over again.

Just experiment, put Mainoo and Amrabat in a double pivot and see if it stops teams cutting through us like butter.

It's the stubbornness which is so infuritating.
Especially at 3-1
 

Woziak

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Keep him for the rest of the season and identify a world class manager for the summer. I don't care about the Top 4 Cup - it's pointless getting into the CL just to get embarrassed by crap teams like Galatasary anyway. I like ETH and think he'd be a good fit for an Aston Villa. But Utd are a behemoth of a club and we swallow managers whole. You've either got it or you haven't.
If swap Unai Emery In a heart beat for ETH !
 

tjb

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I hate not having a midfield. Watching us get ran through over and over again is maddening. It's absolutely bizarre that a Dutch manager - probably the second most precious about midfield control and order after Spanish, per school of thought - is so reckless with control and pacing of the midfield.

It's looking increasingly like ten Hag can only work with special midfielders, otherwise his instructions simply do not transfer to a lower tier of midfielder. No wonder he was obsessed with FDJ.

People calling it a basketball game are right. We just run back and forth with no ability to kill a game or keep it orderly.
I think this is where some fans aren't getting the criticism. It's Man United. As a club, its not our job to hold a manager's hand to do a job. Unfortunately, due to our moral high ground over the years, this has been a pattern we've had with managers. Fans and club urging them to succeed. Statements like " i feel sorry for him having to deal with the club/players". Yet, the only way to judge a manager is what goes on on the pitch, this seems to skip some people's minds. At United, Ten Haag should be proving to us with his system and ability to handle events like injuries and player issues that he's a good enough manager to get us challenging properly every season for top trophies. He's inflexible , he can't handle player changes and injuries. It's a massive weakness and people keep masking over it as an excuse. It's December and the feeling he's given me is that he needs a perfect squad to perform well. Losing Shaw and Martinez somehow completely affected our style of play. Not having a pressing striker completely stops us from controlling games. Varane and Maguire can't play together due to angles. i.e can't play without left footer at left centre back. He doesn't understand the physicality of the league despite this being his second season. He went into the season expecting Bruno and Mount to work together. The age and profile of most of our signings aren't great for a team trying to impose themselves in the league. He's shown a lack of urgency, for me, the way we started the season in terms of fitness was poor. The way we've played tactically has also been dubious. Our defenders have been out of position, with wide spaces apparent in key areas. It's quite clear we switched systems, but a manager of a top team would have realized the possibility that a tactical tweak might not have worked and not invested 60m on a player who can't play the system previously used.

I don't like the fact that fans and the media are so quick to blame players and the club, yet be so light on the manager. I've seen Bruno's reputation and captaincy questioned, Rashford has been questioned, Casemiro has been questioned, as have Varane, Maguire and everyone else. Yet, despite clear tactical issue being evident on the pitch and leadership problems being pretty clear, he's not really. He deserves time that the likes of Mount and Onana haven't been afforded. For me, the worst part is that these managers know that. It's the reason why they always act so surprised when they get sacked. We treat them like their doing us a favor, when their also part of the problem. I saw Mctominay, Fred, Maguire and Lindelof play with Ole. It wasn't like this. Would we be better if we didn't have injures? Yes. But how can you fully trust a manager who's proving that he can't play decent football with what he has? I've seen Arsenal dominate Champions League games with Denilson, Bendtnar and the like. Yet some fans are actually buying this concept that player x not playing is why we have massive static spaces and cant's string passes together. I'm not saying he should be sacked immediately, but all of these failures should be scrutinized heavily. If we fail to get out of this group, that should be scrutinized too. If we can't play good football on a weekly basis, that should be scrutinized. His job is to ensure that our players are put in the best position to play good enough football to win as many matches as possible. At United, its to play good football and get us back to where we were. He's not showing progress and hasn't proved to us that he deserves the patience.
 

Eli Zee

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I haven't been watching a lot but there's no way ETH is this bad.... gotta be a lot of over exaggeration, bad luck, and 50/50s not going our way, right?


you don't forget how to coach a team just by changing leagues... he'd have faced the same type of teams in Europe when he was with Ajax... I feel like it's more than the manager or even the players... too many managers and players In and out without change to continue blaming managers and players.

It's probably a combination of bad/outdated everything in the club (coaches, facilities, system, tactics, scouting, etc).
 

croadyman

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His subs have cost us tonight (as well as his keeper, obviously). To take off our focal point and replace him with a mannequin is crazy.
Yeah maybe Bayindir should have played against his old teams rivals,so frustrating Hojlund had been injured on Sunday because you knew Erik would bring him off tonight
 

Eddy_JukeZ

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I hate not having a midfield. Watching us get ran through over and over again is maddening. It's absolutely bizarre that a Dutch manager - probably the second most precious about midfield control and order after Spanish, per school of thought - is so reckless with control and pacing of the midfield.

It's looking increasingly like ten Hag can only work with special midfielders, otherwise his instructions simply do not transfer to a lower tier of midfielder. No wonder he was obsessed with FDJ.

People calling it a basketball game are right. We just run back and forth with no ability to kill a game or keep it orderly.
Eloquently put.

It's maddening that we've somehow hired another manager who doesn't care about controlling the game.
 

stefan92

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I haven't been watching a lot but there's no way ETH is this bad.... gotta be a lot of over exaggeration, bad luck, and 50/50s not going our way, right?


you don't forget how to coach a team just by changing leagues... he'd have faced the same type of teams in Europe when he was with Ajax... I feel like it's more than the manager or even the players... too many managers and players In and out without change to continue blaming managers and players.

It's probably a combination of bad/outdated everything in the club (coaches, facilities, system, tactics, scouting, etc).
He only had one really strong season in Europe with Ajax and showed similar problems. They got worse as the schedule in England is more demanding and he didn't adjust to it. Nonetheless the rest of your post is probably true as well and that doesn't help.
 

gregwar

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I'm still giving him leeway because we've half a defence and midfield. Last season we had a half decent squad that managed to stay fit somewhat/most of the time, and there was a definite improvement.

I really want him to succeed here, but he has to be kept away from being the authority on transfers - granted that comes with having an actual f**king structure in place, I don't think any successful club operates as we have done in the last 10 years.

The Mount signing is absolutely bewildering. I don't see where he fits in at all.
 

dave2528

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I haven't been watching a lot but there's no way ETH is this bad.... gotta be a lot of over exaggeration, bad luck, and 50/50s not going our way, right?


you don't forget how to coach a team just by changing leagues... he'd have faced the same type of teams in Europe when he was with Ajax... I feel like it's more than the manager or even the players... too many managers and players In and out without change to continue blaming managers and players.

It's probably a combination of bad/outdated everything in the club (coaches, facilities, system, tactics, scouting, etc).
I'm not saying those things don't also factor in but the shoddy infrastructure at the training grounds isn't the one that keeps starting Victor Lindelof over Raphael Verane in spite of the fact that Lindelof is just absolutely rubbish week in/week out.
 

croadyman

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I realize he is responsible for the how we play, why we are so open and not compact, and for signing Onana but this is the worst luck I have seen since Fergie left. Onana dropping clangers....us creating so so so many chances but not scoring...I guess it's ultimately on him but I feel like we have been so unlucky.
Nothing unlucky when you waste chances,definitely on him for keeping faith in Onana after those first two mistakes
 

tjb

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I haven't been watching a lot but there's no way ETH is this bad.... gotta be a lot of over exaggeration, bad luck, and 50/50s not going our way, right?


you don't forget how to coach a team just by changing leagues... he'd have faced the same type of teams in Europe when he was with Ajax... I feel like it's more than the manager or even the players... too many managers and players In and out without change to continue blaming managers and players.

It's probably a combination of bad/outdated everything in the club (coaches, facilities, system, tactics, scouting, etc).
I don't get this notion. He's not Pep or Mourinho. This happens all the time to managers moving from a smaller league to a big league. I get that United haven't had a lot of managers, but that happens all the time. A lot of the managers these days that mid-table clubs have all had league success elsewhere. Because Kompany played good football in the Championship doesn't mean he succeeds Pep at Man City. It was far easier in a weaker league coaching by far the strongest team with the most funds. You can take risks that won't work anywhere else like Timber essentially playing in midfield despite being a cb. Ajax were fluid in a way that even Pep won't attempt. Yet they were that fluid because they could easily pin low quality Eredivisie teams back, who didn't have the physicality or technical skills to take advantage of the poor positioning Ajax had at times. Ten Haag could afford to overload flanks with 4/5 players, whilst still having players ready to receive the ball in the middle. It's why VDB, Ziyech, Antony and Haller could look good in Holland, yet terrible in England. The Champions League run he had, was just that, a run with 2 knockout rounds. 4 games. Those 4 games, where Ajax played well 4 years ago, do not mean he's a great coach. We have players who have won Champions Leagues that fans won't give that type of excuse. Has nothing to do with the club. There are clubs with far worse facilities and finances available to them that can play way better than we have. It's just far easier to blame a large institution like United than to accept that we may have hired another manager who's just not up to what we want
 

tjb

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Nothing unlucky when you waste chances,definitely on him for keeping faith in Onana after those first two mistakes
He sets the team up. Onana concedes because those shots occured. We conceded 16 shots against Galatasaray. We did not dominate them. We provided them with the opportunities to attack us in a balanced game. The same type of game we've played throughout the season. So it should not be shocking that we concede. Then you then factor our defending. The gaps in defence due, the poor transition to defensive positions, our lower block and the wide gaps in midfield. These make us easy to attack, but also make it difficult for us to progress the ball effectively. The amount of times our defenders are out of position and the poor cover for them. Some of these issues are tactical issues that he actually had at Ajax as well, but Eredivisie teams were too weak to consistently exploit them. I've always found those arguments poor when defending a manager. If Barcelona lose a string of games due to errors, everyone looks at Xavi and question his coaching. Same would happen at any top club. Yet at United, supposedly the largest, there's always a cop out for the manager
 

tjb

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Eloquently put.

It's maddening that we've somehow hired another manager who doesn't care about controlling the game.
I don't even mind not being a possession based team. But every good team needs to control games.
For me, he seems like a manager who can't seem to implement his style, potentially due to the rigours of the league, not the squad.
As a result, in trying to adapt to the league has tried to adopt a more direct style without actually knowing how to employ it effectively.
My fear is that this is an experiment that has been going wrong that he just can't seem to accept, similar to LVG's 352.

One thing fans need to remember here is that despite their poor ends, Ole and Mourinho could actually win these type of games. They didn't necessarily struggle with controlling these games either, they both simply had a problem breaking teams down. When you then examine the quality of the squads they had, it was quite easy to see why. Ole at one point had Daniel James, Pereira, Rashford ( younger) and Martial starting, with Mctominay and Fred in midfield, Lindelof and Maguire in defence; and this was his best xi. Mourinho had Lingard, Mhikitaryan, Mata ( aging), with Ashley Young/ Valencia as full backs and relying on Smalling and Jones in defence. Their squads and first xi's available to both at various points were rancid. Yet even with these xi's, they could still win games and dominate games against opponents they were supposed to dominate against. Their issue was being able to go toe to toe with the likes of City and Liverpool. It seems like fans have forgotten that when evaluating Ten Haag. Yes, last season, from November to May, the performances the team had were the best United have had since Sir Alex left. However, this season's performances are worse than I've seen since the heydays of Van Gaal ( outside of the Rangnick run)
 

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It was far easier in a weaker league coaching by far the strongest team with the most funds.
Pre-EtH, Ajax last won the league in 2013/14. They went four years without winning the league before EtH won it 3 times in 4 seasons. How they doing now?
Pre-EtH, Ajax last won the KNVB Cup in 2009/10. They went almost a decade without winning it before EtH won it 2 times in 4 seasons.
Pre-EtH, Ajax last made the CL knockouts in 2005/06. They went on to a semi-final (minute from final) and round of 16 finishes under him.

This isn't nothing, and if the above were true for everyone, especially given your mention of the weakness of the league and Ajax's relative spending power, then account for why it took EtH to produce their first CL knockout appearances in 13 years. Account for why the other coaches before and after weren't sweeping up the cup since 2009. Account for why there's a sizeable four year period without even winning the title.

It's easy enough to say this or that, especially with seeing what we're seeing now with his United, but don't let that discredit his actual work at Ajax, which should not be minimised.
 

wolvored

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I honestly think he'll be sacked as soon as Ratcliffe has control. Feelers will be out.
I reckon he will get mid Dec if Ratcliffe is in by then. Liverpool game will be the key.
Can see Potter coming in, in January, solely as head coach. Think the players bought and brought through will no longer be a manager decision. Whoevers manager might get a choice of A, B or C identified by the SD, but that will be it.
 

wolvored

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Pre-EtH, Ajax last won the league in 2013/14. They went four years without winning the league before EtH won it 3 times in 4 seasons. How they doing now?
Pre-EtH, Ajax last won the KNVB Cup in 2009/10. They went almost a decade without winning it before EtH won it 2 times in 4 seasons.
Pre-EtH, Ajax last made the CL knockouts in 2005/06. They went on to a semi-final (minute from final) and round of 16 finishes under him.

This isn't nothing, and if the above were true for everyone, especially given your mention of the weakness of the league and Ajax's relative spending power, then account for why it took EtH to produce their first CL knockout appearances in 13 years. Account for why the other coaches before and after weren't sweeping up the cup since 2009. Account for why there's a sizeable four year period without even winning the title.

It's easy enough to say this or that, especially with seeing what we're seeing now with his United, but don't let that discredit his actual work at Ajax, which should not be minimised.
Perhaps its a case of horses for courses then. How many managers have done well at one team, only to fail at another?

Also as an aside; when folks go on about injuries, I can only think of 5 first teamers out. Casemiro, Evans, Martinez, Eriksen and Mount. You could argue Mount isnt a regular and Evans is a makeshift to cover injuries. How come other teams still manage to play decent football with a few injuries?
 
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Juicy Juiced

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Pre-EtH, Ajax last won the league in 2013/14. They went four years without winning the league before EtH won it 3 times in 4 seasons. How they doing now?
Pre-EtH, Ajax last won the KNVB Cup in 2009/10. They went almost a decade without winning it before EtH won it 2 times in 4 seasons.
Pre-EtH, Ajax last made the CL knockouts in 2005/06. They went on to a semi-final (minute from final) and round
Frank de Boer won four in the row and couldn't make a step to bigger leagues. He was so bad at Inter and CP that he disappeared in wilderenes after that.
I can see same traectory with EtH. Some smaller job after United stint and that is.
 

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The only two players which might be thought as the significant loss to injuries in this forum are Case and Martinez. We can’t make excuses out of injuries anymore.
 

NoPace

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It was Onana's fault, but I guess in hindsight would have been a good game to take off Antony, play Bruno tucked in on the right and thrown Mainoo into midfield to turn the game into more of a slog once we went up 3-1.
 

tjb

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Frank de Boer won four in the row and couldn't make a step to bigger leagues. He was so bad at Inter and CP that he disappeared in wilderenes after that.
I can see same traectory with EtH. Some smaller job after United stint and that is.
Not just De Boer. Ajax aren't the first unfancied side to make the Champions League semis without a top manager. Leeds in 2001, Leverkusen in 2002. Monaco in 1998. Deportivo La Coruna in 2004, Schalke in 2011 etc. These things happen. I can also state that Gerrard must be special because Rangers hadn't won the Scottish League since 2011 prior to them winning with him in 2021. What about Molde with Ole?
 

croadyman

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Next game ETH is going to be found out for the fraud he is, losing a 2 nil lead when you have Raphael Varane on the bench, he should have played 352 at 1-3 he’s far too stubborn, far too inflexible and he’s been at united for far too long. Dire Football, terrible signings and neutral or negative goal difference.

Literally had enough of this clown. His arrogance is unbelievable, whats he actually done in the game?

A few Dutch leagues and a Carabao cup. He just needs to be sacked and the club move on. This is not knee jerk ETH will never win the PL or CL even if he takes over Real Madrid or Barcelona!
Yeah don't give us that crap Erik about no issue with Varane because clearly there is,was saying the exact same thing to a Utd fan in our Skittles team about switching to a 3-5-2 when we were leading 3-1
 

ti vu

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I am no less frustrated than you when watching our games in such a messy and chaotic manner.
But, it is in some aspects like Liverpool in early days under Klopp.
I have no idea whether it will work out. It’s out of our control as fans. Somehow I have got used to it, as long as I control my expectations, my frustration can be still under control. That’s the only thing I can do.
I see some people here get mad when comparison with other coaches is being brought up. So a fair game should be not using a happy ending comparison favorably for ETH.

Let's remember Klopp reached 3 European competitions finals with Liverpool in his first 3 try (his team was not in any European competition in his first full season though)!!! So there is no comparison in the level of luck/ favorable outcome because belief comes from evidence of getting close to success. The chaotic nature of our play this season has only been bringing doubt. During transition year such as Klopp's first full season, the display of the foundation of the style of play was already distinguishable. The result in point gain/ win rate had been improved from the previous partial season. If we're being honest, that would be same expectation with ETH's second season. Here it's like a restart and undone of last season. That's the issue.

ETH did well last season on merit and, but I am being cheeky here, so we can be objective about ETH and our situation. Let's not fall prey to the hope that two different managers in two different circumstances can easily achieve similar desired outcome.
 

SAF is the GOAT

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Someone really needs to tell him that "attack wins you games, defence wins you titles". At some point the need to always attack and be adventurous is great and all but sometimes you just need to play hard and keep and hold on the advantage you have in the game.
 

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He sets the team up. Onana concedes because those shots occured. We conceded 16 shots against Galatasaray. We did not dominate them. We provided them with the opportunities to attack us in a balanced game. The same type of game we've played throughout the season. So it should not be shocking that we concede. Then you then factor our defending. The gaps in defence due, the poor transition to defensive positions, our lower block and the wide gaps in midfield. These make us easy to attack, but also make it difficult for us to progress the ball effectively. The amount of times our defenders are out of position and the poor cover for them. Some of these issues are tactical issues that he actually had at Ajax as well, but Eredivisie teams were too weak to consistently exploit them. I've always found those arguments poor when defending a manager. If Barcelona lose a string of games due to errors, everyone looks at Xavi and question his coaching. Same would happen at any top club. Yet at United, supposedly the largest, there's always a cop out for the manager
Bayern Munich conceded 20 shots away to Galatasary last month and Galatasary had more possession in that game.

Bayern Won 3-1 because they didn't gift any goals to them.
 

Dannn411

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It is a no brainer. Everyone on here knows it too. Play two midfielders who have the faintest idea about positional discipline and can pass the ball from Point A to Point B consistently accurately. If he doesn't do that, this upcoming run of games will be the final nail in his coffin because we will leak goals like a faucet.
 

Irwin99

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Someone really needs to tell him that "attack wins you games, defence wins you titles". At some point the need to always attack and be adventurous is great and all but sometimes you just need to play hard and keep and hold on the advantage you have in the game.
Our attack has been absolutely horrendous for most of the season and has only clicked into gear in the last two games, I hope it stays that way but balance seems to be an issue. Disregarding the Onana howlers there were a few moments where they bypassed our press and got behind our fullbacks, and a better team would have punished us.

Sometimes it seems to me that when one thing improves with us another thing falls apart.
 

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Did he explain why Amrabat was taken off at 3-1, when we needed to see out the game?
 

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Bayern Munich conceded 20 shots away to Galatasary last month and Galatasary had more possession in that game.

Bayern Won 3-1 because they didn't gift any goals to them.
Did Bayern continue to do the same thing, over and over, in all their group games?

No. They sit comfortably at the top of the group, qualified as winners.
 

always_hoping

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Did Bayern continue to do the same thing, over and over, in all their group games?

No. They sit comfortably at the top of the group, qualified as winners.
Watched all bar one of their games in the Champions league this season. Weren't overly impressive performance wise but unlike United weren't error prone and or gave gifts of goals to the opposition.
 

Yakuza_devils

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The main problem was even at 3-1 everyone watching the game knew that Gala will come back as they keep attacking us with high intensity. And our coaches sat there and did nothing. Didn't even change personel or tactic to be more defensive. They are being paid millions salary to do their job where every layman fans can see the problem during the game but they can't?

Ajax fans warned us that ETH is shit in signing but I refused to believe it can be so bad Onana, Antony, Mount, Sabitzer, Weghorst, Amrabat, Casemeiro, Malacia. We wanted Ajax style of play but we forgot to sign Overmars. With Murtough in charge the circus will continue. Ratcliffe should come in asap.
 

Pintu

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The main problem was even at 3-1 everyone watching the game knew that Gala will come back as they keep attacking us with high intensity. And our coaches sat there and did nothing. Didn't even change personel or tactic to be more defensive.
He did change personel, but it is hard to understand what the plan was.