The Debate: The progression under Ten Hag is evident

Wednesday 26 October 2022 11:57

Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Saturday evening was another great stride for the Reds under manager Erik ten Hag, following the commanding 2-0 win over Spurs at Old Trafford last Wednesday.

Casemiro rose high in the dying moments to head United level at Stamford Bridge, confirming yet another positive result against a team in the current top-six of the Premier League.

On this week’s edition of The Debate, Stewart Gardner was joined by former Reds Ben Thornley and David May, along with journalists Carl Anka and Ian Irving.

Among other subjects, the panellists discussed Erik’s influence on the United squad, with The Athletic’s Anka indicating that the Dutchman’s plan for the Reds is starting to come together.

Are we seeing the true influence of Ten Hag? Video

Are we seeing the true influence of Ten Hag?

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“It’s been really surprising,” he said. “In the summer, I did a number of articles in The Athletic trying to look at what areas of weakness Ten Hag would address. Once again, I was wrong, as with many things about Ten Hag.

“Rather than focus on the areas of weakness, he wanted to make sure that the spine of the team was able to play his style of football from day one. So that’s why he went out and got a brand-new centre-back, that’s why he went and got a central midfielder, that’s why he went and got a starting right-winger. And these players are able to play that style of play Ten Hag wants.

“It’s a really interesting genesis for a football team right now.”

Thornley agreed with Anka, citing last week’s win against Spurs as a landmark match in which the Dutchman's blueprint for the Reds was evident.

“Yeah, I think we are [seeing Ten Hag’s United],” he said. “None more so was it evident than against Spurs last Wednesday.

“I don’t think I can remember a time in recent years that we have dominated so much against a very, very good team. Spurs were flattered with the 2-0 victory for United because it could have quite easily been five or six.

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“That is obviously the progression that Erik ten Hag wanted us to make, [while] still having the wherewithal to be able to counter-attack. [It’s a positive] for us to be able to dominate teams.

“That sort of performance, the performance we put in against Liverpool, they have to be the benchmark. We all have to now know that this team are more than capable of putting together performances like that.”

Next up for the Reds is Thursday night’s Europa League clash with Sheriff at Old Trafford. The Dutchman will no doubt be hoping his side continue the progress of the last few weeks and take further strides to maintain pressure on Real Sociedad at the top of Group E.