- United struggled in the early weeks of the season, suffering six defeats
- Jamie Carragher believes manager Ten Hag must take a lot of the blame
- Follow the latest news from Mail Sport Man United WhatsApp Channel for all current news
According to Jamie Carragher, Manchester United resemble a team that is “reaching the end of a cycle” rather than making progress under Erik ten Hag.
Despite winning three games in a row against Brentford, Sheffield United and Copenhagen, United have looked anything but convincing.
Ten Hag’s side will face a tough test on Sunday when they visit Manchester City at Old Trafford as to whether they can actually progress.
Former Liverpool defender Carragher believes United are in an “unfulfilling holding pattern”, surviving game to game by getting results.
Carragher sees no discernible change in United’s style under Ten Hag compared to the days when Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were in charge.
Jamie Carragher believes Manchester United are more like a team “reaching the end of a cycle” under manager Erik ten Hag than a team making progress
United have been weak at times this season and largely failed to impress even when they won
Carragher believes more could have been rightly expected from Ten Hag at Old Trafford
Your browser does not support iframes.
He wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “I expected United to be a superior version of Ajax when Ten Hag was appointed.”
“Ten Hag achieved many exceptional results at his former club, particularly in the Champions League. With a larger budget and the ability to coach superior players, the plan seemed obvious.
“The idea must have been to enforce the much-vaunted Dutch model of possession football, otherwise what point would there have been in poaching him?”
“United’s board seemed to recognize that the least their fans expect is to be up front and exciting.”
“No one asked Ten Hag to create a title-winning team in a year or even two, but it was reasonable to assume that United’s formation would be significantly different to the tactical formation of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jose Mourinho. “
“The most damning criticism is that this is not the case. “Their game plan is virtually identical.”
Carragher says Ten Hag is running out of time and excuses because £400m has been spent on players he wanted since the summer of 2022.
In fact, he argues that the Dutch coach “has too much power and control over the club’s transfer policy because recruitment has been so poor.”
United have bet £72m on young striker Rasmus Hojlund to help them score their goals
United owed their goalkeeper Andre Onana their penalty against Copenhagen
Ten Hag led United to third place in the Premier League in his first season as manager, returning them to the Champions League. They also won the Carabao Cup, ending a six-year wait for the trophy.
But despite spending heavily on Rasmus Hojlund, Mason Mount and Andre Onana in the summer, United appear to have taken steps backwards.
They have already suffered four league defeats this season and lost their first two Champions League games before Tuesday’s 1-0 win against Copenhagen.
Even that required a last-second penalty from Onana to secure all three points after Harry Maguire had headed United ahead.