After Sunday’s humiliating derby loss to Manchester City, Manchester United players began to doubt Erik ten Hag’s strategic choices. The Red Devils had a strong start at Old Trafford, but halfway through the first half, a penalty kick by Erling Haaland put them behind. After the break, though, United’s boisterous neighbors let loose, and Haaland added a second goal before setting up Phil Foden, as City cruised to a memorable 3-0 victory.
The outcome will only put more strain on Ten Hag, who has had a challenging start to the 2023–24 season despite garnering a lot of praise in his first year in charge. But it doesn’t exactly look good for the Dutchman or United that his players reportedly weren’t impressed with his approach against City.
The Sun claims that a number of United players were “dumbfounded” by Ten Hag’s tactical choices, which included his preference for Victor Lindelof to start at left-back instead of Sergio Reguilon and his suggestion that Bruno Fernandes be used in a wide attacking role rather than centrally, where he excels. Despite United’s dismal performance in the derby and the general uncertainty surrounding the club’s future in light of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s attempt to take over sporting affairs, it seems that Ten Hag’s job is not in danger right now. That’s because Ten Hag, the Dutch manager who oversaw United’s worst start, has told observers that the team is still making “good progress” under his leadership, according to chief executive Richard Arnold, who was present at the game on Sunday.
Manchester United via Getty Imag)
Arnold echoed similar sentiments on Ten Hag during an extraordinary meeting last month, where he made it clear the manchester United manager retain the full support of the club hierarchy
Discontent from the dressing room will still be a concern, though, particularly given United have now lost five of their opening 10 premier League-matches. The club have also struggled in Europe, although they did finally get off the mark in the Champions league at the third attempt last week
After enduring a difficult afternoon at Old Trafford – where fans also booed his decision to substitute Rasmus Hojlund while United were chasing the game – Ten Hag remained upbeat post-match. He told reporters: “The three games before we won, and the spirit is very good, so I think we are on the way up.
“The start was difficult but we are on the way up. I am sure when we have some injured players coming back our side will be stronger. We have to be patient.”