Erik ten Hag - Manchester United manager

Oranges038

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XG suggests it was a close game. Which we won away from home to a team that doesn’t usually lose at home.
I was only joking, I could care less what xg says about the end result, there's only one scoreline that matters and that's the one where real goals go in for both teams.
 

BenitoSTARR

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If your only definition of playing well is not losing I can't argue.
It’s not my sole definition but at the risk of going too meta-Michael Owen, football is about winning matches.

We have shown the components of good football which have been disjointed at times but something I’m happy to accept as part of having an injury plagued side that doesn’t have the squad depth of an elite side.

So I wholeheartedly sympathise and agree with anyone suggesting we’ve not played the best football but I also don’t think that’s realistic and it’s also not a linear process.

I do however wholeheartedly believe with INEOS Ten Hag is as good a manager that we can recruit to improve this side now and in the future.
 

Rams

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Ten Hag has best winning % as United manager except for Michael Carrick. Despite everything he’s had to deal with. You could compare it to Senna driving in a Toleman Hart. At least, that’s from a perspective which is at least worth considering.
 

SER19

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16 players is a bit misleading. ETH's transfers have actually been mostly fine - Antony is the stick to beat him with and Mount we really don't know about him as an 8 - otherwise point me towards the signings we have made that are starters and have nit improved us?
Hojlund. The bar is low given it was old Ronnie, Wout and the crock monsieur he is comparing with. Undeniably better in my opinion.
Casemiro. We know not his first choice but was instrumental last season and is still a very good player, an actual DM.
Martinez. Just class.
Onana. Think it's quite clear whether or not you rate him he is in the mould of what we should be looking for. Just look at the stats in the league to how vital he is for us. DDG post WC was a shambles bar an ok season last year. For some context, the last time DDG bettered (or even came close to) the level Onana is playing at in the league from a PSxG perspective was 17/18. Tells you a lot about the selective memory of many of our fans.

That's really it...Malacia, Evans, Bayandir, Eriksen, Amrabat, Wout, Dubravka etc are all squad players, loans or frees. Those that have played have generally been good/useful.
Saying we signed 16 players in a way that equates to open heart surgery under ten hag is just so ridiculous. As youve pointed out here, several were stop gap loan signings which illustrate the challenges ten hag has had rather than undermines him, and then guys like bayindir, malacia, eriksen are all capable squad players who were never intended to be first team regulars.

Youve done a good job here demonstrating that ten hags transfer business has been massively over-criticised. Im not saying its perfect, but everything youve said here about those 4 is correct, then mount may well prove to be decent business. add in garnacho and mainoo as guys hes introduced and clearly rates as players i would say the overall judgement lands in his favour.

What manager has a 100% recruitment record? Guardiola presently has a 100m pound sub, and an 80 million pound defender thats underwhelming so far. 50m on Nunes who the jury remains out on. 40m on phillips, 25m on ferran torres, 20m on danilo, even players who were okay/good turned out not to be great longer term signings - 55m on laporte who didnt even get 30 appearances in all comps in 3 of his 5 full seasons. Mendy another 50m disaster.

The fact is ten hag has only signed 6 players who could be said to be first team options- mount is an unknown, so from the other 5, 4 have made perfect sense albeit its early days and could go either way. If he were left to sign 4 more players this summer of similar profiles as onana, martinez, casemiro, hojlund, I wouldnt complain.

Its a tiresome, pointless exercise to start ignoring the reasons why weghorst, sabitzer, amrabat, reguilon, dubravka were signed. Just imagine any of them needed at city or arsenal as a matter of urgency or numbers. He has a tough job and is doing it well.
 

BenitoSTARR

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Saying we signed 16 players in a way that equates to open heart surgery under ten hag is just so ridiculous. As youve pointed out here, several were stop gap loan signings which illustrate the challenges ten hag has had rather than undermines him, and then guys like bayindir, malacia, eriksen are all capable squad players who were never intended to be first team regulars.

Youve done a good job here demonstrating that ten hags transfer business has been massively over-criticised. Im not saying its perfect, but everything youve said here about those 4 is correct, then mount may well prove to be decent business. add in garnacho and mainoo as guys hes introduced and clearly rates as players i would say the overall judgement lands in his favour.

What manager has a 100% recruitment record? Guardiola presently has a 100m pound sub, and an 80 million pound defender thats underwhelming so far. 50m on Nunes who the jury remains out on. 40m on phillips, 25m on ferran torres, 20m on danilo, even players who were okay/good turned out not to be great longer term signings - 55m on laporte who didnt even get 30 appearances in all comps in 3 of his 5 full seasons. Mendy another 50m disaster.

The fact is ten hag has only signed 6 players who could be said to be first team options- mount is an unknown, so from the other 5, 4 have made perfect sense albeit its early days and could go either way. If he were left to sign 4 more players this summer of similar profiles as onana, martinez, casemiro, hojlund, I wouldnt complain.

Its a tiresome, pointless exercise to start ignoring the reasons why weghorst, sabitzer, amrabat, reguilon, dubravka were signed. Just imagine any of them needed at city or arsenal as a matter of urgency or numbers. He has a tough job and is doing it well.
Good post
 

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Ten Hag has best winning % as United manager except for Michael Carrick. Despite everything he’s had to deal with. You could compare it to Senna driving in a Toleman Hart. At least, that’s from a perspective which is at least worth considering.
I honestly don't think our team is that bad though, not in terms of individual players. They dug Ole out for a couple of seasons when we were 'Moments FC' and they've done it for ETH too.

There's no way this team should be struggling to score, he's had his first choice attack all season. We still rely on crosses, pacey counter attacks and moments from our talented players. I can't remember the last time we scored a good team goal that was clearly well coached, or controlled a game. There's flashes of good interplay but again, that's par for the course when you have good players, they will show their ability from time to time.

I don't think our team is worse than that of Spurs, and we have significantly better depth than them. At the beginning of the season, this place would have laughed if you suggested they were going to be better than us... which shows the impact a good manager has. We're far better than Brighton and Villa in terms of personnel. There's just no getting away from these facts for me. And when I watch these teams play decent football, I struggle to buy into the fact that it's simply not possible for us and nobody else would manage it here either.
 

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I honestly don't think our team is that bad though, not in terms of individual players. They dug Ole out for a couple of seasons when we were 'Moments FC' and they've done it for ETH too.

There's no way this team should be struggling to score, he's had his first choice attack all season. We still rely on crosses, pacey counter attacks and moments from our talented players. I can't remember the last time we scored a good team goal that was clearly well coached, or controlled a game. There's flashes of good interplay but again, that's par for the course when you have good players, they will show their ability from time to time.

I don't think our team is worse than that of Spurs, and we have significantly better depth than them. At the beginning of the season, this place would have laughed if you suggested they were going to be better than us... which shows the impact a good manager has. We're far better than Brighton and Villa in terms of personnel. There's just no getting away from these facts for me. And when I watch these teams play decent football, I struggle to buy into the fact that it's simply not possible for us and nobody else would manage it here either.
I don’t mean to be patronising or anything but your attack is dependent on the positions further back making the right moves at the right times for good attackers to take advantage of.

No Martinez, Shaw and Casemiro for example have made our attack worse.
 

tomaldinho1

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I honestly don't think our team is that bad though, not in terms of individual players. They dug Ole out for a couple of seasons when we were 'Moments FC' and they've done it for ETH too.

There's no way this team should be struggling to score, he's had his first choice attack all season. We still rely on crosses, pacey counter attacks and moments from our talented players. I can't remember the last time we scored a good team goal that was clearly well coached, or controlled a game. There's flashes of good interplay but again, that's par for the course when you have good players, they will show their ability from time to time.

I don't think our team is worse than that of Spurs, and we have significantly better depth than them. At the beginning of the season, this place would have laughed if you suggested they were going to be better than us... which shows the impact a good manager has. We're far better than Brighton and Villa in terms of personnel. There's just no getting away from these facts for me. And when I watch these teams play decent football, I struggle to buy into the fact that it's simply not possible for us and nobody else would manage it here either.
I feel like you’ve raised your bar too high re good team goal. There have been lots of signs recently if things working and combinations.

Please watch the extended highlights of Wolves and watch the entire passage for the 2nd goal. Press is drawn on, Onana makes a great pass long out wide to Dalot who finds Garnacho and busts a gut to take his man with him. Ball gets switched over the Rashford and his full back, Shaw, then bombs on the overlap. Simple cross. Goal Hojlund. Excellent team goal and excellent tactical plan. Watch the wolves midfield scrambling after the Onana pass the Dalot.
 

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Even if this were true, you can surely admit his profile is 'better' than DDG? That's without the act that he's actually also been better coming into it.
Supposedly yes but he hasn’t shown it here overall. Some of his positioning on goals let in have been worse than De Gea
 

tomaldinho1

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Supposedly yes but he hasn’t shown it here overall. Some of his positioning on goals let in have been worse than De Gea
if we are ignoring the fact he's been statistically much better than DDG has since 17/18, sure.
 

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I honestly don't think our team is that bad though, not in terms of individual players. They dug Ole out for a couple of seasons when we were 'Moments FC' and they've done it for ETH too.

There's no way this team should be struggling to score, he's had his first choice attack all season. We still rely on crosses, pacey counter attacks and moments from our talented players. I can't remember the last time we scored a good team goal that was clearly well coached, or controlled a game. There's flashes of good interplay but again, that's par for the course when you have good players, they will show their ability from time to time.

I don't think our team is worse than that of Spurs, and we have significantly better depth than them. At the beginning of the season, this place would have laughed if you suggested they were going to be better than us... which shows the impact a good manager has. We're far better than Brighton and Villa in terms of personnel. There's just no getting away from these facts for me. And when I watch these teams play decent football, I struggle to buy into the fact that it's simply not possible for us and nobody else would manage it here either.
who is digging out ten hag this season that also did so for solskjaer? out of interest. Secondly, i would say that criticism of both solskjaer and ten hag is way over the top and 3rd last season with this team, plus and trophy- and lets see how this season plays out - is about right for the team as it is. Solskjaer as 'moments fc' is a huge myth too. He wasnt the right man for us, but we actually played good football for long spells and his performances against city, particularly a two nil away were as good a tactical showing as ive seen from any united side. Our pressing and discipline was brilliant that day, it wasnt a case of hit and hope counter attack stuff, there was real shape and organisation.

Lastly, I agree we should be scoring far more. Our first half of the season was abysmal and obviously raises questions about ten hag. However, on the flip side, weve scored 15 in our last 5, 17 goals since the turn of the year and the return of some semblance of consistency in key areas. You cannot watch modern football and truly believe even the best 4 attackers will be functional without a solid midfield and full backs behind them. Its all linked theres no question, and if you gave city the extent of injuries weve had to their central defenders, full backs and key midfield 6 and 8, then you can be absolutely certain that all of their attackers goal and assists tallies would be lower. Its not that theres no truth in what you're saying, there is, and we shouldnt have looked so poor- but i really would suggest looking at our line ups week on week. It was a truly freak run of injuries so that our current situation of having 3 first teamers at a time out injured seems normal.
 

Matt851

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It’s not my sole definition but at the risk of going too meta-Michael Owen, football is about winning matches.

We have shown the components of good football which have been disjointed at times but something I’m happy to accept as part of having an injury plagued side that doesn’t have the squad depth of an elite side.

So I wholeheartedly sympathise and agree with anyone suggesting we’ve not played the best football but I also don’t think that’s realistic and it’s also not a linear process.

I do however wholeheartedly believe with INEOS Ten Hag is as good a manager that we can recruit to improve this side now and in the future.
Having injuries doesn't excuse the entire lack of structure that was apparent in the team over the last few months. That problem also hasn't gone away since the players came back and our one convincing performance was against a team that got destroyed in the next game. Keeping ten hag on beyond the end of the seasonwould just be a continuation of the way we have operated under the glazers of waiting for everything to fall to bits before making a change
 

BenitoSTARR

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Having injuries doesn't excuse the entire lack of structure that was apparent in the team over the last few months. That problem also hasn't gone away since the players came back and our one convincing performance was against a team that got destroyed in the next game. Keeping ten hag on beyond the end of the seasonwould just be a continuation of the way we have operated under the glazers of waiting for everything to fall to bits before making a change
But there hasn’t been an entire lack of structure.

If we’re going to be critical here then be specific otherwise you just sound like an ill informed sound bite.

What exactly do you mean because I haven’t seen a complete lack of structure.

What I have seen is players struggle to play as quickly and confidently through the thirds due to a lack of Shaw, Martinez and Casemiro who are our best on the ball options to get the ball higher up the pitch at the right times.

Instead we’ve had Evans, Maguire/Lindelof and Reguilón who can’t get a game for Spurs. Along with Amrabat/McTominay which everyone knows is not a title challenging defence or midfield.

The truth of the matter is to get your best structure and performances you need your best players. Ideally playing together regularly until they fully grasp what their jobs are in relation to one another. Then with good recruitment (which shouldn’t be Ten Hags job) you add players that work well for your style and team.

We are a developing side not a title winning one.
 

Gordon Godot

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But there hasn’t been an entire lack of structure.

If we’re going to be critical here then be specific otherwise you just sound like an ill informed sound bite.

What exactly do you mean because I haven’t seen a complete lack of structure.

What I have seen is players struggle to play as quickly and confidently through the thirds due to a lack of Shaw, Martinez and Casemiro who are our best on the ball options to get the ball higher up the pitch at the right times.

Instead we’ve had Evans, Maguire/Lindelof and Reguilón who can’t get a game for Spurs. Along with Amrabat/McTominay which everyone knows is not a title challenging defence or midfield.

The truth of the matter is to get your best structure and performances you need your best players. Ideally playing together regularly until they fully grasp what their jobs are in relation to one another. Then with good recruitment (which shouldn’t be Ten Hags job) you add players that work well for your style and team.

We are a developing side not a title winning one.
Same old tired excuses. 'best players' apparently only then can a manager be defined. So for periods last season when we were awful and getting hammered, what was the excuse. At the start of this season with a full squad and all his shiny toys were were terrible. Any as for lack of structure, has anyone noticed that large area between defense and attack that is apparently called a midfield where oppo players stroll through unchallenged. Casimero has strenghts, albeit fading ones, but being good at 'playing quickly and confidently through the thirds' was not really seen as one of them. And then 'playing together regularly', so 18 months not long enough, another 18 maybe? Please can someone tell Ange he needs another year, £400m to spend and only then can a team play in the manner he wants. Pathetic.

He may survive into next season if the run continues, personally I think he has shown far too little tactically, in terms of game management and crucially as a judge of players to merit that but its beyond all of us here as to what happens,
 

RedStarUnited

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Same old tired excuses. 'best players' apparently only then can a manager be defined. So for periods last season when we were awful and getting hammered, what was the excuse. At the start of this season with a full squad and all his shiny toys were were terrible. Any as for lack of structure, has anyone noticed that large area between defense and attack that is apparently called a midfield where oppo players stroll through unchallenged. Casimero has strenghts, albeit fading ones, but being good at 'playing quickly and confidently through the thirds' was not really seen as one of them. And then 'playing together regularly', so 18 months not long enough, another 18 maybe? Please can someone tell Ange he needs another year, £400m to spend and only then can a team play in the manner he wants. Pathetic.

He may survive into next season if the run continues, personally I think he has shown far too little tactically, in terms of game management and crucially as a judge of players to merit that but its beyond all of us here as to what happens,
There are too many people in here who only admit failure when it happens. Until then, they cling on to every bit of positivity they can.

This and many threads like it should probably be split between people who want to discuss the performance regardless of the score Vs those who just want to discus the score. So even if we win, those of us who think a performance is shit can discuss it in peace without being called “moaners”.
 

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There are too many people in here who only admit failure when it happens. Until then, they cling on to every bit of positivity they can.

This and many threads like it should probably be split between people who want to discuss the performance regardless of the score Vs those who just want to discus the score. So even if we win, those of us who think a performance is shit can discuss it in peace without being called “moaners”.
This will blow your mind but there are actually people out there who thought the score and the performance were decent. I'm one of them.
 

BenitoSTARR

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Same old tired excuses. 'best players' apparently only then can a manager be defined. So for periods last season when we were awful and getting hammered, what was the excuse. At the start of this season with a full squad and all his shiny toys were were terrible. Any as for lack of structure, has anyone noticed that large area between defense and attack that is apparently called a midfield where oppo players stroll through unchallenged. Casimero has strenghts, albeit fading ones, but being good at 'playing quickly and confidently through the thirds' was not really seen as one of them. And then 'playing together regularly', so 18 months not long enough, another 18 maybe? Please can someone tell Ange he needs another year, £400m to spend and only then can a team play in the manner he wants. Pathetic.

He may survive into next season if the run continues, personally I think he has shown far too little tactically, in terms of game management and crucially as a judge of players to merit that but its beyond all of us here as to what happens,
It’s not a tired excuse it’s a fact. Calling it an excuse doesn’t change its status from fact.

Winning teams require the best players regularly available that isnt up for debate. Look at Liverpool’s season without Van Dijk for example.

Any team can be beaten at any point. Let’s not pretend like other sides of a similar level to ours (Europa/CL level) haven’t had bad results or defeats. We also last season had played the most games out of any side in Europe as a result of us doing really well in all competitions. Fatigue with an ill equipped squad is a thing. But it’s testament to Ten Hag that he managed to get us so far in so many.

Start of the season we didn’t have the best pre season but granted the one game I’ll say we should have done better is the Brighton one.

Structurally I agree our midfield has been too open at times. This is due to high pressing structures up the pitch, of which I think we’ve been 1st in the PL for high turnovers, which shows Ten Hags proactive pressing is working well.

The issue is then do we have the players in defensive positions to be able to bridge that gap. Now Casemiro and Mainoo is a good pairing for this. Casemiro is defensively solid and Mainoo has the legs to bridge the gaps but for this to be its best version we do need Martinez and Shaw (both very comfortable on the ball and pushing up into midfield or wide areas respectively.

If you want to play a system then you need all components of that system. If we want high pressures then yeah you do need very good players and mobile players in midfield.

Ange Postecoglu’s side is far from perfect. In fact they are nowhere closer to being an elite side than we are and so I’m not sure why they are held up as some kind of standard?

What is pathetic is fans who don’t behave like fans. Who focus without context on every perceived negative and largely ignore the positives. We have one of the youngest front 3 in the league in Garnacho Højlund and Rashford, we have a squad that isn’t anywhere near a title challenge yet and have been mismanaged as a business more than a football club for over a decade and yet somehow we expect this all fixed and the football to be excellent all the time.

The fact is some fans like yourself can’t see the structures in offence. Or how we build up because you want to focus on the negative so you make sweeping statements like “there is no structure”.

Ten Hag has shown he can make subs to change games, has changed roles of players like McTominay to suit this. He’s improved and developed Dalot, Garnacho, Højlund, Mainoo etc been bang on the money with signings like Martinez and even Onana is now showing why he was signed.

I just feel really sad for all of you that have this toxic view of everything. It can’t be a happy place and I hope you start to see the green shoots that are sprouting here.

We’re not perfect, but with everyone fit we are a capable side. We do need players like Mainoo to make our pressing work (as we need the legs in midfield) but we’re starting to fix that now we have the personnel.

So I’m happy to keep waiting longer to see what this Ten Hag side can become but I’ll not spend anymore time waiting for Godot.


There are too many people in here who only admit failure when it happens. Until then, they cling on to every bit of positivity they can.

This and many threads like it should probably be split between people who want to discuss the performance regardless of the score Vs those who just want to discus the score. So even if we win, those of us who think a performance is shit can discuss it in peace without being called “moaners”.
It’s not clinging onto positivity. I can and have been critical where criticism is fair. But I’m also not going to walk around with my head up my jacksie expect it’s everything to be great with the level of injury and disruption we’ve faced this year.

If you want to be critical of a performance be specific about what you think has been poor and we can discuss it. But don’t just generalise it’s lazy and reductive.
 

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This will blow your mind but there are actually people out there who thought the score and the performance were decent. I'm one of them.
Which is fine. Just there is no need for people who think like you to call the more critical ones "moaners". And of course vice versa. Sometimes this thread becomes a bit toxic and it would massively increase the quality if people would just acknowledge that different people have different expectations.
 

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Structurally I agree our midfield has been too open at times. This is due to high pressing structures up the pitch, of which I think we’ve been 1st in the PL for high turnovers, which shows Ten Hags proactive pressing is working well.

The issue is then do we have the players in defensive positions to be able to bridge that gap. Now Casemiro and Mainoo is a good pairing for this. Casemiro is defensively solid and Mainoo has the legs to bridge the gaps but for this to be its best version we do need Martinez and Shaw (both very comfortable on the ball and pushing up into midfield or wide areas respectively.
It's true that the high pressing is working well in regard to winning a lot of balls, and that the improved availability of quality defenders / central midfielders allows to better sweep up when this high pressing is beaten. That's a case where the injuries really matter a lot.

The problem with how this works is that the high pressing is quite worthless because so little goals are scored from those high turnovers. For such an aggressive system there should be much more goals scored, yet United is one of the lowest scoring teams in the PL. And that's something I criticize, because EtH is taking a risk that doesn't pay off and sacrifices his defensive stability for it.
 

wolvored

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if we are ignoring the fact he's been statistically much better than DDG has since 17/18, sure.
Well as a Utd fan I am only interested in how he plays here. How he did in another country is irrelevant. Werner was tearing it up in Germany. How has he done in the Prem as an example?
 

BenitoSTARR

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It's true that the high pressing is working well in regard to winning a lot of balls, and that the improved availability of quality defenders / central midfielders allows to better sweep up when this high pressing is beaten. That's a case where the injuries really matter a lot.

The problem with how this works is that the high pressing is quite worthless because so little goals are scored from those high turnovers. For such an aggressive system there should be much more goals scored, yet United is one of the lowest scoring teams in the PL. And that's something I criticize, because EtH is taking a risk that doesn't pay off and sacrifices his defensive stability for it.
I genuinely think this is just due to having a young front line finding its feet. Højlund had barely any professional experience before coming to the PL Garnacho is playing RW which is a relatively new role for him and we’ve had so much disruption in our midfield and defence that getting the ball passed into these players quickly and consistently in good positions has been really tough.

I think it’s fair to criticise that but also to then acknowledge that it will take time for these players to do it consistently and effectively because they are younger.
Which is fine. Just there is no need for people who think like you to call the more critical ones "moaners". And of course vice versa. Sometimes this thread becomes a bit toxic and it would massively increase the quality if people would just acknowledge that different people have different expectations.
Who is calling anyone a moaner? My points are aimed at highlighting the difference between expectations and realistic ones in context.
 

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Well as a Utd fan I am only interested in how he plays here. How he did in another country is irrelevant. Werner was tearing it up in Germany. How has he done in the Prem as an example?
In some statistics Onana this season for United is ahead of de Gea in hist last seasons.
 

wolvored

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In some statistics Onana this season for United is ahead of de Gea in hist last seasons.
My argument isn’t him v DeGea. My take on it he’s not good enough. £55 mill and basically no nearer having an elite goalie
 

TomSkalle

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In some statistics Onana this season for United is ahead of de Gea in hist last seasons.
I dont feel like statistics reflect actual gameplay when it comes to Onana.
A big part of beeing a keeper is positioning, so you either save or just block the ball, and i feel he has alot to learn in that regard.

DDG was a really good shot stopper, by positioning, rushing out, or do the kneestand block he often used. I mean, he was exellent at that part of the game. His weekness was control in the box, and playing the ball with his feet.
Onana has had alot of games where he could have saved, could have blocked, but didnt because of bad positioning IMO.
He was exellent last game , and i really hope he will get better after he gets more experience in the PL.
 

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I dont feel like statistics reflect actual gameplay when it comes to Onana.
A big part of beeing a keeper is positioning, so you either save or just block the ball, and i feel he has alot to learn in that regard.

DDG was a really good shot stopper, by positioning, rushing out, or do the kneestand block he often used. I mean, he was exellent at that part of the game. His weekness was control in the box, and playing the ball with his feet.
Onana has had alot of games where he could have saved, could have blocked, but didnt because of bad positioning IMO.
He was exellent last game , and i really hope he will get better after he gets more experience in the PL.
He was, in 2018. Then he was nothing more than average. Onana might still not be good enough (even if he's better than De Gea of last few years).
 

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My argument isn’t him v DeGea. My take on it he’s not good enough. £55 mill and basically no nearer having an elite goalie
Watch him in build up and he adds a level of comfort on the ball we’ve not had with De Gea.

I’m not sure exactly what people are hoping for here. Every signing is expected to be transformative in some way but that only works if the players are available for the system.
 

ROFLUTION

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It’s not a tired excuse it’s a fact. Calling it an excuse doesn’t change its status from fact.

Winning teams require the best players regularly available that isnt up for debate. Look at Liverpool’s season without Van Dijk for example.

Any team can be beaten at any point. Let’s not pretend like other sides of a similar level to ours (Europa/CL level) haven’t had bad results or defeats. We also last season had played the most games out of any side in Europe as a result of us doing really well in all competitions. Fatigue with an ill equipped squad is a thing. But it’s testament to Ten Hag that he managed to get us so far in so many.

Start of the season we didn’t have the best pre season but granted the one game I’ll say we should have done better is the Brighton one.

Structurally I agree our midfield has been too open at times. This is due to high pressing structures up the pitch, of which I think we’ve been 1st in the PL for high turnovers, which shows Ten Hags proactive pressing is working well.

The issue is then do we have the players in defensive positions to be able to bridge that gap. Now Casemiro and Mainoo is a good pairing for this. Casemiro is defensively solid and Mainoo has the legs to bridge the gaps but for this to be its best version we do need Martinez and Shaw (both very comfortable on the ball and pushing up into midfield or wide areas respectively.

If you want to play a system then you need all components of that system. If we want high pressures then yeah you do need very good players and mobile players in midfield.

Ange Postecoglu’s side is far from perfect. In fact they are nowhere closer to being an elite side than we are and so I’m not sure why they are held up as some kind of standard?

What is pathetic is fans who don’t behave like fans. Who focus without context on every perceived negative and largely ignore the positives. We have one of the youngest front 3 in the league in Garnacho Højlund and Rashford, we have a squad that isn’t anywhere near a title challenge yet and have been mismanaged as a business more than a football club for over a decade and yet somehow we expect this all fixed and the football to be excellent all the time.

The fact is some fans like yourself can’t see the structures in offence. Or how we build up because you want to focus on the negative so you make sweeping statements like “there is no structure”.

Ten Hag has shown he can make subs to change games, has changed roles of players like McTominay to suit this. He’s improved and developed Dalot, Garnacho, Højlund, Mainoo etc been bang on the money with signings like Martinez and even Onana is now showing why he was signed.

I just feel really sad for all of you that have this toxic view of everything. It can’t be a happy place and I hope you start to see the green shoots that are sprouting here.

We’re not perfect, but with everyone fit we are a capable side. We do need players like Mainoo to make our pressing work (as we need the legs in midfield) but we’re starting to fix that now we have the personnel.

So I’m happy to keep waiting longer to see what this Ten Hag side can become but I’ll not spend anymore time waiting for Godot.



It’s not clinging onto positivity. I can and have been critical where criticism is fair. But I’m also not going to walk around with my head up my jacksie expect it’s everything to be great with the level of injury and disruption we’ve faced this year.

If you want to be critical of a performance be specific about what you think has been poor and we can discuss it. But don’t just generalise it’s lazy and reductive.
Good post but I have to disagree with Onana. He’s too prone to switching off. Only 3 games since he did it against Wolves, and it just seems very vital for our success as a team to rely on him long term imo. He’s cost us so much this season overall and glimpses of hope is just not enough.

Difficult to say what needs fixing/improvement first but Onana would be on my personal list of players to replace. Casemiro (as he’s getting old) and Onana. Use Shaw in the center and find a good athletic left or right back that crosses well and who adds to the system or combines well with either Rashford or Garnacho.
 

Zed is not dead

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Apr 9, 2023
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It’s not a tired excuse it’s a fact. Calling it an excuse doesn’t change its status from fact.

Winning teams require the best players regularly available that isnt up for debate. Look at Liverpool’s season without Van Dijk for example.

Any team can be beaten at any point. Let’s not pretend like other sides of a similar level to ours (Europa/CL level) haven’t had bad results or defeats. We also last season had played the most games out of any side in Europe as a result of us doing really well in all competitions. Fatigue with an ill equipped squad is a thing. But it’s testament to Ten Hag that he managed to get us so far in so many.

Start of the season we didn’t have the best pre season but granted the one game I’ll say we should have done better is the Brighton one.

Structurally I agree our midfield has been too open at times. This is due to high pressing structures up the pitch, of which I think we’ve been 1st in the PL for high turnovers, which shows Ten Hags proactive pressing is working well.

The issue is then do we have the players in defensive positions to be able to bridge that gap. Now Casemiro and Mainoo is a good pairing for this. Casemiro is defensively solid and Mainoo has the legs to bridge the gaps but for this to be its best version we do need Martinez and Shaw (both very comfortable on the ball and pushing up into midfield or wide areas respectively.

If you want to play a system then you need all components of that system. If we want high pressures then yeah you do need very good players and mobile players in midfield.

Ange Postecoglu’s side is far from perfect. In fact they are nowhere closer to being an elite side than we are and so I’m not sure why they are held up as some kind of standard?

What is pathetic is fans who don’t behave like fans. Who focus without context on every perceived negative and largely ignore the positives. We have one of the youngest front 3 in the league in Garnacho Højlund and Rashford, we have a squad that isn’t anywhere near a title challenge yet and have been mismanaged as a business more than a football club for over a decade and yet somehow we expect this all fixed and the football to be excellent all the time.

The fact is some fans like yourself can’t see the structures in offence. Or how we build up because you want to focus on the negative so you make sweeping statements like “there is no structure”.

Ten Hag has shown he can make subs to change games, has changed roles of players like McTominay to suit this. He’s improved and developed Dalot, Garnacho, Højlund, Mainoo etc been bang on the money with signings like Martinez and even Onana is now showing why he was signed.

I just feel really sad for all of you that have this toxic view of everything. It can’t be a happy place and I hope you start to see the green shoots that are sprouting here.

We’re not perfect, but with everyone fit we are a capable side. We do need players like Mainoo to make our pressing work (as we need the legs in midfield) but we’re starting to fix that now we have the personnel.

So I’m happy to keep waiting longer to see what this Ten Hag side can become but I’ll not spend anymore time waiting for Godot.



It’s not clinging onto positivity. I can and have been critical where criticism is fair. But I’m also not going to walk around with my head up my jacksie expect it’s everything to be great with the level of injury and disruption we’ve faced this year.

If you want to be critical of a performance be specific about what you think has been poor and we can discuss it. But don’t just generalise it’s lazy and reductive.
Great post this
 

tomaldinho1

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Well as a Utd fan I am only interested in how he plays here. How he did in another country is irrelevant. Werner was tearing it up in Germany. How has he done in the Prem as an example?
I mean for United...I don't care how he did previously. Point being, I think most have forgotten how bad DDG was post WC on the whole and are merging their memories of him when he was an absolute beast between the sticks and the sharp decline we saw from 18/19 onwards.
 

UpWithRivers

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I said weeks back that when we get our players back we will go on a run and ETH will be back in favor. We have seen this story so many times not only with ETH but previous managers. We are a team that can get top 4. We can win a FA cup/Europa every now and again but not the major competitions. We can also finish 6th in a bad year. We can play good counter attacking football. We can sit back and defend well against anyone. It's so predictable.

There is the top 3 - Arse, Man City, Liverpool. Then below them is US, Tottenham, Chelsea, Newcastle, now Villa, Brighton trying to sneak in there. This is like a second league. Sure sometimes one of the top 3 have a sht year like Liverpool last year. But realistically we we miles of the top 3. Out of this second league we are generally the best in a good year. We should top the group and get 4th. If one of top 3 having a bad year then we can get 2nd, 3rd. I have no doubt that if ETH stays next season then we will have another good year and get 3rd /4th.

The question is can ETH step up to the top 3 levels? We said in the summer after his first season that to improve we need to control the midfield and score an extra 30 or so goals. To expand on that you can add pressing, building up from the back, managing out games etc but basically if we control the midfield and score 30ish more goals we will have to do the other things anyway and will be joining the big boys.

EtHs plan to control the midfield was to buy Mount. And to get more goals was Hojlund. No one understood this. Now I think that both are good players. But good isn't good enough. To me ETH still has to prove this theory. Yes he's been hampered by injuries. But can we really play one 6 and two 8's? Especially if that 6 is Casemiro and the 8's are Bruno and Mount? How long do we have to wait for Hojlund to be a 15/20 season striker. 2 years? 3? Can we get more goals from other areas? Is this style of football - transitional aka counter attack really going to get us to the top? We know it is very effective sometimes. Heck we can beat the big boys with this football. But its not about beating the top 3. It's about relentlessly beating the bottom 16 week in week out home and away. Winning when teams sit back. Dealing with physical teams. With long balls. With everything.

Can ETH take us to the next level? I'm not convinced but at the same time is there another available manager who can? Maybe ETH has learnt from his mistakes and can tweak the strategy. Maybe with Ineos and and DOf, structure we can get players players to take us up a llevel.maybe, maybe
 

NLunited

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Spain already lost two teams, Italy none. I think that explains it.

Calling that "official" is a stretch, isn't it? It's just a statistical prediction, nothing more. It's as valid using these 77% as a number as it is to claim it's 80% or 40% based on your gut feeling on how the teams will perform. If you believe Liverpool will now struggle due to Klopp's departure, Villa will take their performance drop into the ECL and suddenly England uses two more teams quite quickly for example. Those things aren't factored in the Opta stats, so believing them to play a role to come to a different conclusion than Opta is perfectly fine.

Either way, if the PL gets the 5th place (which is likely) and United gets this spot (which is possible), United should thank the other English clubs on their knees for bailing them out after giving the PL this race to catch the leading leagues due to the horrible CL group stage.
Let me point out that these numbers don‘t make sense. If you roll a dice, there is a 16.666% chance to land on each number.
The total is 100%.
I find the above way of representing probabilities misleading.
 

tomaldinho1

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Saying we signed 16 players in a way that equates to open heart surgery under ten hag is just so ridiculous. As youve pointed out here, several were stop gap loan signings which illustrate the challenges ten hag has had rather than undermines him, and then guys like bayindir, malacia, eriksen are all capable squad players who were never intended to be first team regulars.

Youve done a good job here demonstrating that ten hags transfer business has been massively over-criticised. Im not saying its perfect, but everything youve said here about those 4 is correct, then mount may well prove to be decent business. add in garnacho and mainoo as guys hes introduced and clearly rates as players i would say the overall judgement lands in his favour.

What manager has a 100% recruitment record? Guardiola presently has a 100m pound sub, and an 80 million pound defender thats underwhelming so far. 50m on Nunes who the jury remains out on. 40m on phillips, 25m on ferran torres, 20m on danilo, even players who were okay/good turned out not to be great longer term signings - 55m on laporte who didnt even get 30 appearances in all comps in 3 of his 5 full seasons. Mendy another 50m disaster.

The fact is ten hag has only signed 6 players who could be said to be first team options- mount is an unknown, so from the other 5, 4 have made perfect sense albeit its early days and could go either way. If he were left to sign 4 more players this summer of similar profiles as onana, martinez, casemiro, hojlund, I wouldnt complain.

Its a tiresome, pointless exercise to start ignoring the reasons why weghorst, sabitzer, amrabat, reguilon, dubravka were signed. Just imagine any of them needed at city or arsenal as a matter of urgency or numbers. He has a tough job and is doing it well.
Exactly. The weird thing for me is ETH has some areas where there is fair criticism but there are posters who seem to not actually care how we're doing - we're somehow in the hunt for CL football despite having a large chunk of this season without key players - and just want to moan every week. 3 league wins on the bounce and literally people come in here to essentially say 'result doesn't matter, we played shit'.

Re transfers, most clubs buy what 2-3 first team signings a year. The manager then has a period of 3 years or so of really balancing the move to his style of football whilst retraining/removing the incumbent players and all the while needing to maintain some base level of performance to keep his job. Unless you are City and realise when Pep struggles first season that you need to buy 6 (literally 6) proven first team players in one window (Ederson, Mendy, Danilo, B Silva, Laporte, Walker), you have to have this staggered multi year journey of a manager playing cat and mouse with how much risk he takes trying new things.

Mou and Ole got subsequent seasons even when it seemed obvious the style was somewhat set because they won things or got back to back CLs, I don't see any reason it wouldn't be the same for ETH - particularly when the added positive is he is unquestionably trusting and developing youth players as part of this side. If the style really picks up then there's probably a bit more flexibility to finish lower but, for me, it has to be 5th or higher unless we get another glut of injuries.
 

stefan92

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Let me point out that these numbers don‘t make sense. If you roll a dice, there is a 16.666% chance to land on each number.
The total is 100%.
I find the above way of representing probabilities misleading.
Nah, the probabilities above are fine. They amount to 200% instead of 100%, because there are two CL spots to be granted, not just one.
 

Lee565

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Having seen that graphic on sky sports Monday night football last night about the top sides in Europe for short passes, it really highlighted the state of our football under ten hag in which we were nowhere to be seen on the graph.

This type of football under ten hag will not reward the club long term unless we are now club happy with battle for a ucl spot only.
 

Giggsy13

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The entitlement of this post if off the charts, we don't have a right to go to Villa and play them off the park
100%. I can’t believe some expect us to dominate a legitimate top 4 contender away from home when they already have wins against Arsenal and city. Delusional and irrational perfectly describes the miserable section of our supporters who want ten Hag to fail.
 

Juicy Juiced

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If your tactic depends on 2 players maybe you are just shit tactitian.
Watched Tottenham at the weekend. They look electric, and that Greek bloke is there just 6 months.
Eric is here year and a half and we are still talking about same flaws every week.
 

AltiUn

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100%. I can’t believe some expect us to dominate a legitimate top 4 contender away from home when they already have wins against Arsenal and city. Delusional and irrational perfectly describes the miserable section of our supporters who want ten Hag to fail.
Seems to be conveniently ignoring they got turned over their last 2 home games against teams lower than us in the table, Chelsea played them off the park.
 

AltiUn

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XG table has us at 12th which feels far more in line with our performances than 6th. We've riding our luck massively at the minute, there's no way on this earth we keep picking up points if we keep playing the way we have been doing, you can't concede as many clear chances as we do and keep getting away with it.