Erik ten Hag. What is he bringing to Manchester United?

Erik ten Hag during post match interview.
Fernandes: “Thy showed us today we are not at the same level.” after derby loss.
  1. The team overachieved and Solskjaer squeezed the maximum out of them. Their underlying statistical numbers had them 4th not 2nd.
  2. After balancing the forward line by getting Jadon Sancho to play on the right, United unbalanced that forward line again by buying Ronaldo.
  3. United left the midfield unaddressed.
United vs Leicester 2021 tactics.
Images from the Liverpool game last season.
Erik ten Hag in preseason training.
Comparison between ten Hag’s 18/19 and 21/22 teams.

How does that translate to Manchester United?

Well, the three fundamentals that ten Hag requires, to play his style, are the 3 which United are weakest at. Counter-press is almost non existent. Ball retention and Crossing are there but very weak fundamentally.

Fred and Scott
De Jong and Eriksen.
Diogo Dalot vs. Aaron Wan-Bissaka in 2021/2022.
Property of The Athletic.
ten Hag’s 18/19 Ajax basic movement in possession.


To recap, the profiles at Man United resemble more ten Hag’s Ajax team of 18/19. Players like Shaw, Sancho, Maguire, Martial, Van de Beek, Dalot, Varane, and Lindelöf will be assets to ten Hag and with better players around them, they’ll be better themselves. Rashford is not a profile that ten Hag had before but ten Hag will definitely incorporate a talent like Rashford in his team. However, there are certain bad habits that Rashford needs to iron out if he want to continue to play as a wide forward in a possession based team. Amad and Pellistri still need further development.

Closing remarks

This article was made for the republik of Mancunia charity season preview and all profit is donated to the Trafford Macmillan Wellbeing Centre, which supports people with cancer and their family members in Trafford, adding to the £7000+ we’ve already raised. Please share this and help them out.



Just a guy interested in football.

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