Home » Manchester United’s capture of Erik ten Hag and Lisandro Martinez has really hurt Ajax

Manchester United’s capture of Erik ten Hag and Lisandro Martinez has really hurt Ajax

Dutch champions have struggled defensively both in league and Champions League

by Ayantan Chowdhury

The current Manchester United side are not the same team that dismally underperformed and finished sixth in the Premier League last season.

The dressing room is harmonious and there seems to be a real sense of togetherness in the squad while a clear pattern of play is emerging.

One of the biggest factors behind this change has been the new manager Erik ten Hag and the summer recruits the club have brought in.

ETH has transformed United

The Dutchman was hugely successful back at Ajax and United were impressed with his management enough to opt for him to bring back the glory days.

And so far the plans seems to be on the right track with the Red Devils just three points behind fourth with a game in hand.

His most exemplary recruit has been Lisandro Martinez, with the Argentine quickly endearing himself to the Old Trafford faithful with his no-nonsense style of play.

One party which has suffered majorly since these two influential figures arrived at Manchester have been Eredivisie champions Ajax.

They are currently second in their domestic league and have already conceded 14 times, while last season they had let in 19 times throughout the course of the campaign.

Ajax goalkeeper Resko Pasveer has pinpointed the loss of Martinez as a major factor behind their team’s defence leaking goals this campaign.

“Martínez was used to the Ajax style of play and put things on edge. I think that’s a big loss centrally on the field.

“He knew exactly when to cover. That is something we have to learn more centrally, with Calvin (Bassey). We have to work a lot on that,” he was quoted as saying by Voetbal International.

Ajax yet to cope with Martinez loss

Their European campaign was also a huge letdown with the Amsterdam-based club finishing third in their group and dropping down to the Europa League as a result.

They let in 16 goals, a huge downgrade from previous seasons under Ten Hag where they have outperformed in Europe with their impressive style of play.

And the goalie mentioned that the team were used to Ten Hag’s style and that has been a huge miss. One of his major principles was to win the ball back as fast as possible which was a hallmark of Ajax’s play. That has been missing so far.

“That is something we have to put a lot of time and energy into. It doesn’t happen, maybe we don’t see it or we don’t coach each other. That is worrying.”

New Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder is already feeling the pressure and he has spoken out countless times of the way United weakened their squad by constantly recruiting from them.

United have not done too shabbily and it seems Ajax’s loss has been United’s gain this season.

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