Season 2022/23 was the start of a new chapter in Manchester United’s rich history under new Dutch Manager, Erik ten Hag. Manchester United’s recent history hasn’t been as glamorous as most Reds fans are accustomed to. However, the signing of a progressive, exciting Dutch manager, gave confidence to a number of fans.
As the season started, lots of football fans were skeptical of the United squad and rightly so, as the first two matches were ones to forget. Manchester United showed no intent and were lethargic in their play. The squad was still short in key areas, namely in defensive midfield and in attack.
With the North West Derby up next, intense pressure was placed on both the board and the manager. Manchester United were linked with players who were thought to be below par signings, such as Marko Arnautović and Adrien Rabiot. Following the amount of backlash and protests against the Glazers, Manchester United would go on to sign five-time Champions League winner Casemiro and Ajax star Antony.
From this moment on, Manchester United would seem to have turned things around as famous victories against the Merseyside Reds, Spurs and the Gunners showed that the season wasn’t all doom and gloom. The Red Devils would go on to just lose against Champions Manchester City even though they played 9 of top 11 teams.
However, United’s season was bound to have a lot of ups and downs. During the home match against Tottenham, Erik ten Hag wanted to sub on Cristiano Ronaldo for the last 10 or so minutes. The Portuguese legend is normally known for his professionalism, however, this was not shown as he refused to come on. Not only did he not want to come on, but he also left the pitch early on his own in frustration. The Dutch manager faced a tough and important decision. Not only did he not condone this behaviour, but he also suspended the 37 year old and demoted him to the under 23s for a week. Ten Hag really put a mark on the team and showed the seniority he has on the team.
All in all, one might say that Manchester United are still not a finished product. Erik ten Hag has put his mark on the team both on and off the pitch. The Red Devils will face many more challenges as the season progresses. Manchester United will definitely try to compete on all fronts, having also qualified for the next round in Europa League. Only time will tell whether Manchester United can come back to be the feared club they once were in the 90s until the early 10s.
Article contributed by Contributor Justyn. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.