Premier League

Erik ten Hag: Man Utd manager sets club record

Jacque Talbot
Erik ten Hag, Manchester United, 2022/23

Erik ten Hag is now the fastest Manchester United manager to reach 20 wins.

It took just 27 matches to secure the title, but he could have lost or drawn a further three and still would have earned it – Jose Mourinho’s record was 31 games.

Perhaps it’s time we stood up and took note of what the former Ajax coach is doing with the side. Man Utd’s despairing loss to Brentford earlier in the season, as well as the caning they received from Manchester City, naturally drew some naysayers. But now the club are firmly heading in the right direction.

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It’s so easy to forget just what Ten Hag inherited and how much of an absolute mess it was inside Carrington during the end of the last campaign and over the summer.

Ten Hag has had to deal with the Cristiano Ronaldo saga – a six-month-long tumultuous affair that disrupted squad harmony tremendously, even overshadowing some of the impressive wins the club earned – as well as a whole host of other issues thrown his way.

Harry Maguire has been dropped this season by Erik ten Hag

Harry Maguire has been dropped this season by Erik ten Hag

Man Utd’s overhaul

Starman Jadon Sancho has been sent out to sort his fitness out and is being given the best opportunity to come back and realise his potential.

Ten Hag has also had to deal with the severely underperforming Harry Maguire, dropping him to the bench and making a new and improved backline featuring Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane.

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He missed out on his number one target, Frenkie de Jong, which in itself took a huge toll on the recruitment plans over the last window.

Fred and Scott McTominay remain, Casemiro was brought in, and Christian Eriksen was persuaded to come in on a free despite countless approaches for him elsewhere. But the side have somehow managed brilliantly without a solid No.8 among their ranks.

Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford are performing over and above on the pitch – with the latter well on course to beat his current record for goals in all competitions (22) with 15 so far.

There is excitement in the youth too – Alejandro Garnacho is enjoying a breakout season when many thought that he would be might have been shipped out on loan.

Man Utd have a huge number of players whose salaries do not correspond to their ability. As we have reported before – and Ten Hag translucently spoke about in a recent interview – a huge crop will be moved on in the summer and the real revolution can begin.

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Money certainly has its value in football but you can’t just spend on a whim and hope for the best. This is what have Man Utd have traditionally done and it’s landed them in hot water every time.

Everton are really feeling the wrath of spending loads while not having a solid plan or ambition to lead in a single direction. They need a clear ethos, vision, and blueprint. And Ten Hag is providing all that and more at Man Utd.

Marcus Rashford has been on fire this season

Marcus Rashford has been on fire this season

He speaks often about ‘personality’ and getting the right minds in as well as the right feet. A project laced with pragmatism is guaranteed to yield great results and that’s precisely what the club are finally doing. With the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham, and Chelsea on a downward spiral, now is the opportune time to press ahead and bring back a semblance of the glory days.

However, perhaps it will take for when the Glazers finally sell up later this year for that to be completely realised.

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