Opinion: Erik ten Hag has quickly created a buzz around Manchester United

Manchester United suffered a 3-2 defeat against Premier League leaders Arsenal last night but that doesn’t change the fact Erik ten Hag has created a buzz at the club.

Since then there has been copious overreaction from a large portion of the fanbase and I can’t for the life of me understand why. United travelled to a ground that has not once seen a loss this season to face the most in-form team across the top flight and took them stride for stride until the closing minutes of the match.

Mikel Arteta has been building his project at Arsenal for three years. In that time he has had them finish 8th, 8th, and 5th. Now they’re absolutely flying and have cruised to the top of the table with the mentality and play style he has instilled.

On the other hand, we’re witnessing Erik ten Hag’s first season in the dugout. He’s had one transfer window to try acquire the tools he needs to unlock United’s potential, has been left with other managers cast-offs and has had to personally manage a certain Al-Nassr forward’s public attempts to belittle him and the club. United sit fourth placed, joint on points with Newcastle in third and are the only English team remaining in all four competitions this season.

When he took over I was expecting an improvement on last season, but I knew that it would take time for him to lay the foundation he can then build from. I didn’t expect to be favourites to win a cup and hear title race shouts in January.

I’ve seen a lot of supporters criticise and analyse the tactical and player decisions he made yesterday, about 60% of those came before kick-off, and the rest after, in my opinion – just let it go. He is the manager and he knows best, that’s the bottom line.

There have also been a lot of pictures circulating regarding referee/VAR decisions; the penalty that wasn’t given against Crystal Palace, Michael Olise’s free-kick being inched closer than where the foul took place and possible offsides from yesterday. Again, let it go. Things are checked by the officials and they’re not given. It happens to every team across the league and we’ve certainly had decisions that have swung more in our favour in recent seasons, and now some that haven’t.

The Palace game should have been killed off long before either of those incidents happened, and Oleksandr Zinchenko was onside. We drew and we lost a game – it happens. Deal with it and move on to the next one.

Ultimately, Ten Hag has me the most optimistic I’ve felt in probably five years. Besides his successes at Ajax, he’s just the manAs soon as the report came out about him running the extra km with the players after Brentford, I knew something was different about him. How he handled Ronaldo was perfect, and how he has been patient with Jadon Sancho to ensure he is both physically and mentally prepared to be under the spotlight again is admirable.

I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve when I head to bed knowing I’m at Old Trafford the next day. He’s the reason why.

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  1. I am in absolute agreement with this post from Isabel. For the first time in 10 years, I look forward to watching my team play. They are exciting, strong in the challenge, and press with effect. They also have some super footballers in De Gea, Martinez, Casimero, Eriksen, Fernandes, and Varane and Ten Hag has rejuvenated players such as Wan Bissaka, Dalot, and Rashford. It is early days but everything looks promising for me, still have a few average players out there but I believe in a year’s time we will be back to challenging at the very top. #IBACKTENHAG

    1. Spot on; both of you. “Fans” crying over the loss probably began in the Fergie glory years and got giddy thinking ETH would immediately deliver another Title. Patience and trust must be our key words. Our Manager has made a magnificent start – Rangnick’s team would probably have shipped 10+ goals yesterday – but we’re at least a couple of years off a serious title challenge.

  2. For the first time I see a Positive and good post about eth……since the defeat to arsenal …….social media have put more than 90% blame on him ………i need to appeal to the fans to please give eth some times to prove himself….thanks ……….

    Am a top united fan ……am on IG as @fxlord_official follow me please

  3. Thierry Henri’s recent comments in praise of EtH speak volumes. We’re six months in and the manager has already shown his quality, building a competitive, winning team from the rubble left over from the debacle of the last three years. Quite an achievement – shame Roy Keane seems unable to enjoy the progress.

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