Manchester United have had a mixed season so far, losing three games while winning five and drawing their last game against Newcastle United.
It very much looks like a work in progress for Erik Ten Hag. He has got his side playing decently and it seems players are slowly buying into his methods.
There were morale-boosting wins against arch-rivals Liverpool and league leaders Arsenal coupled with heavy thrashings against Manchester City and Brentford.
ETH methods differ from Solskjaer’s
One thing that the Dutch manager has done well so far is his handling of egos in the dressing room which has helped in reigniting the fire in their bellies.
Love how Luke Shaw says its good that Ten Hag drops you if your underperforming, admits he was poor at start of season and has been inconsistent and now needs to work hard and prove himself.
That’s the mentality you need.. No excuses, just prove yourself on the pitch.#mufc
— Alice Abrahams (@AliceTalksFooty) October 18, 2022
Back when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in charge, there seemed to be an inevitability regarding the personnel who would be involved in a game
Quite often, under-performing players were kept in the line-up which ultimately led to his sacking last season. The defence needed to be shaken up and fresh faces needed to be injected into the starting line-up.
Recently, Eric Bailly had raised a few pertinent points but chose to give it an unpleasant angle which many pundits objected to. But his initial point of the Norwegian keeping faith in stars like Harry Maguire did end up costing him his job.
That has been one of the most refreshing changes since Ten Hag took over. He has not hesitated to drop even the biggest players as last season’s top scorer and United legend Cristiano Ronaldo will testify.
Players such as Maguire, Ronaldo, Luke Shaw, Jadon Sancho and even new recruit Casemiro have all found themselves in and out of the team if their performance levels have not been to the manager’s liking.
And Shaw, who lost his place after the opening two games to Tyrell Malacia, has once again rediscovered his best form and is showing he was the star of the last Euros.
Shaw credits ETH for turnaround
“The good thing about this manager, this gaffer, is that if you’re not playing well, then you won’t play. In the past, that’s not been the case, but I think the good thing about this manager is that he’s keeping everyone on their toes.
“He makes sure that everyone is 100% every day. If you’re not at it then you won’t play. That’s a positive thing,” the English defender was quoted as saying by The Manchester Evening News.
He admitted that Ten Hag dropping him actually helped him improve.
“To be honest, I didn’t really need him to say anything to me. I knew. I knew the first two games were nowhere near good enough. I completely understood that it was my time to come out of the team. The results were bad. My performances were not good enough.”
Malacia’s arrival seems to have reinvigorated the full-back, just like how Alex Telles‘ arrival got the best out of the 27-year-old.
And the England international will be hoping to carry on in the same way as his new boss Ten Hag is not someone who will think twice before dropping even the biggest of superstars.
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