From dancing with two of his players after winning the Carabao Cup to a distinct lack of movement from his bench during a resounding defeat – life has come fast at Erik ten Hag.
Manchester United’s grip on the trophy they’ve won six times was loosened by the team they beat in last season’s final, Newcastle, who served them a 3-0 humiliation at Old Trafford.
The scenes at Wembley just over eight months ago will feel like eight years for the under-pressure Dutchman, who was rather uncharacteristically seen dancing with Antony and Lisandro Martinez after Man United lifted the cup.
This was supposed to kickstart a new glory-filled age that’s deserted the club since the great Sir Alex Ferguson left a decade ago.
Instead, it looks like Ten Hag is experiencing the same woes David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer all succumbed to.
There’s a sense that there’s more faith among Man United fans for Ten Hag to turn it around like his predecessors, although an uncomfortable moment showed two supporters in attendance try to ask Ten Hag what on earth they were seeing as the Red Devils got ripped to shreds.
These opinions may not have been expressed in the most diplomatic way but when taking a closer look at the lows Man United are experiencing under Ten Hag’s guidance, it’s clear to see why they’re frustrated.
Man United’s woeful season so far
Lost eight of first 15 games this season – most defeats at this stage since 1962/63 season
Lost five of ten Premier League matches this season – two more than any previous Premier League season
15 points from ten Premier League matches this season – only had fewer in two previous Premier League seasons
Conceded at least three goals in six of their last 12 games
The arguments against the Glazers will go on while they continue to hold the keys at Old Trafford, but no one can say Ten Hag hasn’t been backed financially.
Since Ten Hag took control in the summer of 2022, Man United have spent £411million on transfers – only free-spending Chelsea have spent more during the period.
And while there are a plethora of problems at Old Trafford, talkSPORT’s Dean Ashton believes there should’ve been more from Ten Hag as his players toiled on a wet Wednesday night.
Asked if Ten Hag can survive this latest setback, Ashton said on commentary for talkSPORT: “I’m not too sure.
“What was startling was when that second goal went in for Newcastle in that first half the one thing I thought I’d see was the manager step forward into his dugout and into his technical area and to be honest, at the very least, give his players some support.
“You could just see the confidence was on the floor and they needed some guidance, some energy, a shouting voice from the side, something.
“You just didn’t see him, he did not come out at all to the technical area. I thought that was such a bad look for the manager here.
“All the good feeling that he’d seemed to have built from last season is a bit like the stadium, it’s crumbling away from Erik ten Hag.
“I don’t really know where he does go from here in terms of his own confidence.”
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