Home » ‘False dawns’ could be a thing of the past for Manchester United – The Athletic

‘False dawns’ could be a thing of the past for Manchester United – The Athletic

by David O'Neill

Carla Anka believes that the signs are positive for Erik ten Hag’s first season in English football, so positive that Manchester United might just be back.

Writing for The Athletic, the journalist accepts that there have been many ‘false dawns’ since Sira Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

Indeed, United have had good runs of form under previous managers, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enjoying a fantastic sequence during the 2020/21 season.

But alas, as with other good sequences, the dysfunction that has enshrouded Old Trafford put paid to that run of results.

And while Anka believes that there will be no single defining moment at which one might declare “United came back,” he also notes that there is plenty of reason to be positive about the Red Devils right now.

Marcus Rashford’s sensational form, which has seen him score ten goals in as many matches, stands chief among them.

Improvements in midfield and in United’s structure in possession are also noted, and while there are still issues that need to be addressed, the early signs are good.

Some of those issues were prevalent in yesterday’s Carabao Cup tie, with some cheap turnovers leading to some dangerous counterattacks from Nottingham Forest – one of which had the ball in the back of the net – when United were a little too quick to push players forward.

But an ultimately controlled display saw the Red Devils emerge with a clean sheet, with Lisandro Martinez doing well to cover ground and Victor Lindelof noticeably improving in the second half.

United are still in the process of a rebuild, one that has already seen an outlay upward of £200m, and one that may still only be halfway to completion.

But by taking a huge step towards Wembley last night, Erik ten Hag has taken steps towards further cementing faith in his work.

As Anka writes, “They have been here before, and their fans have been burned by the fires of false dawns. But maybe, just maybe, things are different under Ten Hag.”

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