Only if you have lived under a rock for the past 10 years, you don’t know the current state of Manchester United. This club is cursed, and it starts at the top. Just recently, Bloomberg announced an agreement has been made for a rich British guy who isn’t Richard Branson to purchase 25% of the Club. I will save my thoughts for another blog, but I think the deal is horrible business. Back to the issue at hand. Considering the current form of United, managerial talks must be had. Discover the potential journey for United for the rest of the season.
United Keep Ten Hag
To be honest, I’m not sure I see Ten Hag surviving the season. What I say never actually matters, but I can’t envision the bald bastard being allowed to continue at the club. If he does miraculously stay at the club it will be for two reasons max. 1. He turns around the form and finds some steadiness in his current form. Turn some 3-0 defeats into 2-1 defeats and hopefully turn a few 1-0 wins into 2-0 wins and the outlook improves. Rashford’s form will improve and Antony will finally use his right foot. Its tough to envision, but there is a framework back to being slightly-better-than-ok.
Next in order for ten Hag to keep his job, I think his team needs to employ his tactics better, or switch things up. His buildup is based on a 3-2-5 buildup which in theory is great for recycling a high press, but it leaves the team dreadfully open on the counter. I’m not sure how it would work, but a 3-3-4 buildup with some freedom would bring some much needed balance to the team in defensive transitions. I think This allows some of our better players a bit more fluidity in one-touch passing and creating impromptu rondos. Our strikers can’t even score regardless so I’d rather concede less.
If they keep these hypothetical mediocre vibes up, I envision United finding some decent success and finishing 6th. Not bad but not great. There have been rumors that ten Hag had 1:1’s with his team to figure out why they hate him, and that is desperate. However, the thing about desperation is that sometimes it works.
United Sack Ten Hag
Somewhat unfortunately, I see this happening. Let’s be on the same page about one thing. United lack attacking creativity and defensive resilience. Those two combined make for a horrible product. The real issue that Ten Hag has against him is the same issue with almost every United manager since Fergie. Ten Hag was given just about a ton money of money, and they are still under performing. The issue is that war chests come with massive expectations – as they rightfully should, to be honest. Anytime you throw $400 million at a problem, you expect something to be fixed. You almost can’t fault the Glazer’s because all they know is money. Soccer is more than money however.
If ten Hag can’t fix things quickly, I expect him to be fired before the new year. For ten Hag to get sacked, it will take a string of losses culminated with a battering by the Scousers on December 17th. Despite my measured analysis, I don’t want ten Hag to get fired. It simply means repeating an already broken system. The issue is greater than any single manager.
Where Does the Club Go From Here
Maybe it’s the irrational fan in me, but I genuinely think there’s a small chance Ten Hag can escape the sack and make it to the end of the year with the goal being Europa League qualification. It’s not the best outcome, but depending on the finish I think United will have to clean house all the way up the chain and down to the players. The recruitment needs to be so much better than it currently is, and I think the biggest issue is player vetting.
To me, Real Madrid is the perfect example of top tier recruitment. Finding young talent to develop in smaller leagues like Brazil, and splurging on key players is proven to work. Vini Jr. was purchased over 5 years ago and he is now a Ballon d’Or candidate. Bellingham cost them a fortune, but his drive and mentality are second to none. Pay big for footballers because they love the game and are talented, not just because they are great footballers.
Only time will tell where Ten Hag will go from here, but deep down I only care about this Club.