Manchester United are going through a very tricky period and one that ultimately falls on the manager even if the players are not performing. It is the first time that ten Hag has faced any real heat as Manchester United manager. Can he survive this rough period as a manager?
What has happened at Old Trafford?
It was meant to be a season of progress after finishing 3rd in the league, finishing as runners-up in the FA Cup and winning the League Cup. However, it has been anything but progress with six losses out of ten games played in all competitions, it is across the board how much United have declined. Even with the wins against Wolves, Nottingham Forest and Burnley, United have looked far from convincing.
However, the losses have been devastating at times, especially against Brighton, Bayern Munich and Crystal Palace. It has devoid United of all their confidence and even in games where it appears to be going their way it is quickly dissipated within moments as was evident in their most recent Champions League fixture against Galatasaray.
Their luck is out but so is the playing style; ten Hag is struggling to get his players going!
What could be done to improve the situation?
Admittedly off the field issues with Mason Greenwood, Antony, and Jadon Sancho have not helped him. Also with all the injuries, particularly to the back line, ten Hag has had to fit players into places that they are not comfortable in; Sofyan Amrabat being the main example!
It would be beneficial for ten Hag to drop certain individuals because their form is not that of Manchester United standard. Players like Casemiro, Marcus Rashford, Victor Lindelof, Diogo Dalot, and Andre Onana have not been showing their quality and could
A slight tactical tweak to have two defensive midfielders would mean that the back four are more protected and Casemiro is not on his own would also be beneficial to proceedings for United.
ten Hag’s side are lacking an identity and the play is slow at times or players are happy to play the long floaty ball into nothingness. When the likes of Fernandes, Mason Mount, and Christian Eriksen play the quick ball to the forward line United look more dangerous and should be encouraged to play that more often. However, that comes with confidence and currently, it is rock bottom.
How much longer should ten Hag be given?
If you look at the United cycle of managers, there is no point in sacking ten Hag at this stage as an interim manager, I would not be surprised to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer return, would come in and then they look for a new manager at the end of the season.
ten hag is capable of getting the best out of these players, he has done it before but he has to get it right and quick because at the end of the day football is a results-based game but ultimately the ten Hag issue should be reviewed closer to January than October.