Home » The Athletic: How Erik ten Hag is slowly but steadily implementing his philosophy at Manchester United

The Athletic: How Erik ten Hag is slowly but steadily implementing his philosophy at Manchester United

by Raj Dholakia

Manchester United have had a mixed start to the new season and are currently in fifth position in the Premier League.

After a disastrous start to the season, losing to Brighton and Brentford, Erik ten Hag steadied the ship, winning his next four matches.

United’s key strength has been the solidarity in defence, making them a hard team to beat.

The gritty 2-1 victory over Everton highlighted United’s improvement in possession.

Ten Hag is trying to implement his philosophy into the team.

In the 0-0 draw against Newcastle yesterday, United created opportunities but failed to finish them.

Transitioning from a counter-attacking side to a possession-based one will take time and patience.

The Athletic analyses United’s performances this season and shows the improvement in certain aspects of play.

“According to Opta, United had their highest number of successful passes, the most turnovers of possession in the final third this season, their second-highest number of total turnovers and their highest number of successful passes into the final third since the opening two games of the 2022-23 campaign.”

“Despite conceding more away goals (34) than any other Premier League club in 2022, United had their lowest xGA (expected goals against — 0.65) of the season against Everton, even if they did not manage to keep a clean sheet.”

United’s passing has been more incisive, and Ten Hag is working on how to break down a low block.

The addition of Christian Eriksen has made a massive difference to the team. His calmness and composure in midfield allow United to sustain attacks.

Ten Hag wants his team to be more proactive with and without the ball.

It is one of the reasons why Cristiano Ronaldo has struggled for game time.

When fit, Anthony Martial is expected to return to the team. His holdup play and technical prowess would greatly benefit the team.

Fans will be happy to see United taking small steps in the right direction!


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