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Man Utd: Model of soccer beneath Erik ten Hag examined as United attain disaster level | Soccer Information

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What’s Manchester United’s type of play beneath Erik ten Hag?

It shouldn’t be a tough query to reply however it’s one thing which has left many observers scratching their heads over the previous week.

“None of us right here can clarify what Manchester United attempt to do when it comes to how they play,” stated Sky Sports activities’ Jamie Carragher after watching Ten Hag’s aspect outclassed by Manchester Metropolis on Sunday.

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Highlights from the Carabao Cup fourth-round match between Manchester United and Newcastle

The Carabao Cup exit to a much-changed Newcastle on Wednesday was one other {Old} Trafford night time to neglect. Theatre of Goals? It’s a theatre of nightmares for United supporters proper now.

Right here, we check out a variety of stats to attempt to set up what Ten Hag and United are attempting to realize – and the place it’s going unsuitable…

Placing the press on

“In high-ball regains, we’re high of the Premier League,” Ten Hag stated proudly forward of the Manchester derby. “The urgent is superb.”

Definitely his is a group which likes to defend on the entrance foot. They prepared the ground for prime turnovers, their beginning distance – the purpose the place they win the ball again – is larger up the pitch than final season and now the very best within the league. The typical place of their gamers demonstrates their advance up the sector, too.

Manchester United's average positions are more advanced this season
Manchester United’s common positions are extra superior this season

With a 4-2-3-1 formation, Ten Hag desires his frontline gamers hounding opposition defenders and stopping them from constructing from the again.

The issue is what occurs when groups get by that press. Extra on that to return.

Going direct

“We’ll by no means play the soccer we performed at Ajax right here,” Ten Hag stated after the derby, dashing the hopes of any United supporters hoping to see ‘whole soccer’ at {Old} Trafford. “I now produce other gamers,” he added. Gamers he clearly feels are higher suited to a quick, direct type.

Ten Hag’s United see much less of the ball this season than they did beneath Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a head coach who was thought of to be a counter-attack specialist. Andre Onana might have changed David De Gea partly due to his passing capacity, however United are recording fewer ‘build-up assaults’ (strikes with not less than 10 passes) than they’ve throughout the previous 5 seasons.

It is a group which appears to be like ahead as quickly because it will get the ball. An method epitomised by the captain Bruno Fernandes. Nothing unsuitable with that – however maybe it wants refining with a diminished Anticipated Objectives determine suggesting United are creating fewer good probabilities.

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Manchester United supervisor Erik ten Hag stays defiant about his future regardless of a second consecutive 3-0 defeat at house as his aspect crashed out of the Carabao Cup to Newcastle

What’s holding them again?

Too simple to play by

Mason Mount reacts to the 3-0 Carabao Cup defeat to Newcastle at Old Trafford
Mason Mount reacts to the 3-0 Carabao Cup defeat to Newcastle at {Old} Trafford

Maybe it’s not a lot the concept of easy methods to play that’s lacking however the execution, which is clearly not taking place because it ought to and because of this clouding the image of what United are doing.

The front-foot method is leaving them uncovered when groups beat their press, with opponents bypassing Man Utd gamers with passes nearly 30 occasions extra per sport on common this season than final.

That’s resulting in them having fun with extra touches within the opposition field than they’ve throughout the 5 seasons we have now examined since 2019 and, because of this, the Anticipated Objectives of Man Utd’s opponents is up too.

The midfield make-up has been a problem from the very begin of this season and opposition sides can damage this United group. Solely seven sides have conceded extra objectives – not a shock while you see sides are having 5.4 pictures heading in the right direction in opposition to United on common per sport, up from 3.8 final season.


One of the best soccer plans on the earth are solely nearly as good as a group’s ending. Simply ask Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea. Sadly for United and Ten Hag, the group’s forwards have been badly out of shape to this point this season.

Accidents to key males

Lisandro Martinez is set for an extended period out
Lisandro Martinez is in the midst of an prolonged interval out

Unquestionably, accidents have hit United arduous this season. Critics will say that, given their spending, they need to be capable of cowl the absences of gamers. However with Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane and Tyrell Malacia, there isn’t any doubt Ten Hag has been having to work with various choices.

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Manchester United followers have their say about what goes unsuitable at {Old} Trafford following back-to-back 3-0 defeats at house

He has additionally been with out Rasmus Hojlund, Mason Mount, Casemiro, Sofyan Amrabat, Sergio Reguilon and Aaron Wan-Bissaka for durations of this marketing campaign.

“I feel when Manchester United get gamers again, the soccer will enhance and there will likely be a greater feeling within the membership and they’ll win lots of video games with the gamers they have,” stated Sky Sports activities’ Gary Neville forward of their Carabao Cup defeat to Newcastle.

Nevertheless, he added: “What I might say is that the efficiency ranges, and the type we have seen on this final month or two has been actually poor. That type needs to be embedded, even when the gamers are completely different. It needs to be embedded by the 24 within the squad. I’ve to say the standard has dropped enormously. There isn’t any doubt they want gamers again.”

For Ten Hag, the return of these first-teamers can’t come quickly sufficient.

What’s subsequent?

Man Utd are again in Premier League motion on Saturday lunchtime as they head to Fulham; kick-off 12.30pm.

The stats that rattling United

*Manchester United have conceded three or extra objectives in six out of their final 12 matches.


*United have misplaced 5 out of their first 10 house video games of the season, which is their worst begin to an {Old} Trafford season since 1930.

*United have additionally led for simply 29 minutes at {Old} Trafford this season.

*United have misplaced 5 out of their first 10 Premier League video games, which is 2 greater than they’ve managed in any earlier top-flight season.

*With eight losses within the first 15 matches of the marketing campaign, that is probably the most defeats United have managed at this stage of the season since 1962.

*Man Utd have additionally suffered back-to-back house defeats by 3+ objectives for the primary time since October 1962.

*After 10 video games final season, Man Utd had 19 factors and had been fifth within the desk. This season, they’re in eighth with 15 factors.

*However Opta’s ‘Anticipated Factors’ mannequin suggests Manchester United needs to be eleventh within the Premier League desk on 12 factors, based mostly on the standard of probabilities in video games – which implies Ten Hag’s aspect have truly over-performed.

*Ten Hag has spent £411m on new signings since he took cost firstly of final season, solely Chelsea have spent extra in that timeframe.

*Of Ten Hag’s signings, solely Casemiro and Christian Eriksen have scored a aim within the Premier League this season (one every).

*Bit-part midfielder Scott McTominay is Man Utd’s high scorer within the Premier League this season with three objectives, with Bruno Fernandes on two objectives and 6 gamers on one aim.


*Antony is Ten Hag’s most costly signing at £86m however the Brazilian has scored solely 4 Premier League objectives in 32 appearances, and eight objectives in 54 appearances throughout all competitions. He has not scored in his final 19 appearances.

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