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Erik ten Hag's tactics must be better moving forward - Andy Mitten

Andy Mitten is a fan of Erik ten Hag but acknowledges that the manager must prove he is better tactically than he's shown so far.



United We Stand editor Andy Mitten joined The Football Show to discuss Erik ten Hag and Manchester United.

Manchester City 6-3 Manchester United.

It's a score line that is normally astonishing. But it's a score line that didn't surprise anyone on Sunday. Manchester United are clearly inferior to Manchester City, while Erling Haaland is liable to score a hattrick in any given game this season.

Throw in the fact it's not even the first time United considered four goals in a first half this season and it was a predictable outcome.

The lack of outrage following the game shows that we're in a new era with Manchester United. Gone is the anger. Gone is the despair. Instead, wider audiences understand Erik ten Hag is in the early stages of rebuilding. Manchester United have a long way to go before they are relevant again.

But even while the games right now are of low importance, ten Hag's actions aren't.

Andy Mitten explains ten Hag's poor tactical decisions.

"I don't think we can be too harsh on ten Hag from the perspective of he's been in the job for a couple of months," Mitten said.

"Pep Guardiola's been building that team for six years. And yet at the same time, Manchester United started five attacking players away to the best team in England at the moment. That was a risk and it was one that didn't pay off."

Ten Hag solidified United after their first two losses of the season. But he still must prove his tactical nous. Manchester City targeted Manchester United's fullbacks in the first half. They took advantage of the lack of support coming from the wingers, allowing City to build into space on either side of the box.

"Right from the first minute, City had United's fullbacks exactly where they wanted them. [Jack] Grealish and Phil Foden were causing problems right from the start. And ten Hag didn't rectify that until halftime when Malacia was brought off.

"Ten Hag got it wrong from a tactical perspective...but he's new into the job. He's still building his team. If this was two years into the job I'd carry a slightly more critical tone than I do now. And yet I still think he got it badly wrong against Manchester City.

"The strikers were almost anonymous in the first half.

"It looked like a team that wasn't a team."

Is Erling Haaland unique?

 

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Read more about

Andy Mitten Erik Ten Hag Erling Haaland Manchester City Manchester United Pep Guardiola

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