Erik ten Hag’s calm demeanour proves that he was the right appointment for Manchester United over Mauricio Pochettino.
That is according to Carl Anka of The Athletic, who cites a “rare atmosphere of tranquillity” around the club as a reason for United’s upturn in fortunes following a nightmare start to the season.
Pochettino had been heavily linked to the Red Devils prior to Ten Hag’s appointment and had been among the favourites to land the top job at several points in the last half decade.
But United “were right to avoid Pochettino,” and in opting for Ten Hag, United have a manager whose stock is on the rise.
As Anka points out, Brendan Rodgers, Massimiliano Allegri and Pochettino were all mooted as potential replacements for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but have all fallen on hard times since.
What has impressed The Athletic journalist about Ten Hag had been his ability to steady the United ship after the difficult league start.
He tactical flexibility has been a big factor in doing so.
Anka writes that “United may not be playing like a “Ten Hag team” but the Dutchman has found a way to win four successive Premier League games.”
Indeed, Old Trafford has seen more counterattacking football than many may have expected before the start of the season, with some similarities between this side and a Solskjaer side apparent.
United have often opted to favour quick transitions in key moments this season, but there are also signs of Ten Hag’s principles on display.
Patience in possession and bait-and-switch overload plays have been features of United’s gameplans this season.
But it will take time, training, and transfers before the style of play more closely resembles the Ten Hag ideal.
For now the manager has shown a pragmatic nature to go with his calm authority and Manchester United are seeing the benefits of those qualities.