Jamie Carragher believes Manchester United are going backwards under Erik ten Hag.
The former Ajax head coach ultimately succeded Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in United’s dugout before guiding them to a third-place Premier League finish.
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However, it’s proving to be a challenging second campaign, United are eight points off the pace through nine matches. They’ve already lost on four occasions with half of those coming at home.
Following a two-game losing streak, the Red Devils have somewhat turned it around. Ten Hag’s men will be seeking a fourth straight success when they host neighbours Manchester City on matchday 10 but footballer-turned-pundit Carragher isn’t buying any momentum change instead he believes the record 20-time English champions are running on fumes under their Dutch tactican.
“Manchester United resemble a team reaching the end of a cycle, not one still rebuilding under a relatively new manager,” he wrote in his latest column for The Telegraph.
“Despite winning their last three games, the football is stale and the symptoms of regression are visible; there is a lack of style and panache, few of Erik Ten Hag’s signings are consistently performing, and players such as Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay – who the manager was willing to discard last summer for the right price – are back in favour. United are in an unfulfilling holding pattern, seeking to eke out results and get by before their next refresh.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 24, 2023
“Watching United’s victory against Copenhagen in midweek, the game reminded me of Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez’s final year at Liverpool, where it felt we were trying to find ways to win despite our general lack of quality, relying on ‘moments’ rather than brilliantly choreographed team patterns,” he added.
“The matches were dull and the supporters restless as they could see how quickly rivals were upgrading as we first stood still and then regressed on the back of a couple of poor transfer windows. Everything felt like a grind.”
Ten Hag’s present deal at Old Trafford expires in June 2025 but right now he will be aiming to become their first manager since Sir Alex Ferguson to win consecutive home league games against Man City.