The key advantage Ten Hag has over Arteta, Guardiola and Klopp at Man Utd

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • Updated: 26 Sept 2023 09:46 BST
  • 4 min read
Erik ten Hag, Man Utd, smiling
© ProShots

Paul Scholes once said that Erik ten Hag's willingness to accept defeat and switch things up is what sets him apart from other top managers - he needs to prove this again to get Manchester United out of their current mess.

The Red Devils are once again in turmoil. Erik ten Hag's first season in charge at Old Trafford began in uninspiring fashion but ultimately turned into a successful one.

Article continues under the video

This season, it has been an even worse start. Man Utd have only managed to beat relegation fodder - all by one-goal margins - and been comprehensively outplayed by the teams they should see at the very least eye to eye with.

READ: Romano reveals the 'most likely solution' to Man Utd's Sancho problem

Off the pitch, chaos has engulfed United as well. The drama surrounding Mason Greenwood and whether or not to keep him around, the Antony allegations and Jadon Sancho's spat with Ten Hag have all played their part in making the atmosphere at United toxic.

After defeats against Arsenal, Brighton and Bayern, Man Utd managed to beat bottom side Burnley with an unusual starting line-up. This result needs to become a springboard for United to bounce back.

Jonny Evans
© ProShots - Jonny Evans

Ten Hag's advantage

Against Burnley, Ten Hag played youngster Hannibal Mejbri as well as veteran summer reinforcement Jonny Evans. The latter, 35 years of age now, played his first game for United since 2015 - and he was imperious, as was Mejbri in midfield. Ten Hag took a gamble against Vincent Kompany's side and it paid off.

It is this which could help Man Utd find their form again. As pointed out by the Manchester Evening News, Paul Scholes said previously that Erik ten Hag's ability to accept defeat and change things when they aren't working is what sets him apart from his "stubborn" peers.

READ: Ex-Man Utd boss to end Sancho's Old Trafford nightmare

"These players," Scholes told Premier League TV, "now are probably not suited to the way he wants to play, but he's found a way to win games with this group of players – now, why would you change and go back to something that didn't really work at the start of the season?"

"He's found a way of playing football on the counter-attack with this group of players – why change that? We talk about philosophies all the time, don't we? These managers are stubborn. [Mikel] Arteta will be stubborn, [Pep] Guardiola will be stubborn, Jurgen Klopp will be stubborn; but this man – you have to give him credit because he's gone away, really, from what he wants to do."

Never miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.