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Erik ten Hag is delusional if he really believes Man Utd ‘can beat anyone’ – Dutchman’s ‘odd bunch’ are still way off being a top side

Is Erik ten Hag’s Confidence Justified? Man Utd’s Rollercoaster Ride to the Top


 The Recent Triumphs: A Glimpse of Hope?

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United’s gaffer, boldly declared, “I think we can beat any opponent, away or at home,” after a crucial 2-1 victory against Aston Villa. The Red Devils seem to be clawing their way back into the Champions League qualification race, raising eyebrows and sparking debates among football enthusiasts.

 A Shot at Top-Four Finish

The recent three-point boost places United within striking distance of Villa, just five points behind, and a mere six points away from fourth-placed Tottenham. A remarkable turnaround considering the skepticism looming just weeks ago. United’s four consecutive victories, including a hard-fought win against Aston Villa, suggest a positive shift.

A Closer Look: Are They Really Back?

Despite the apparent resurgence, skepticism remains. Andre Onana’s heroics in the United goal during the Villa game left many wondering if the victory was more of a mirage than a true reflection of the team’s capabilities.

Gary Neville’s Take: “Still Not Great”

United legend Gary Neville, never one to mince words, offered a reality check. “They’re better than they were, but they’re still not great,” he remarked on Sky Sports. Neville’s observations cut through the optimism, highlighting the absence of clear patterns or combinations in United’s play.

The Odd Bunch Syndrome

“They’re a bit of an odd bunch,” Neville continued, pointing out the lack of control, a propensity to concede chances, and a sporadic style of play. United, it seems, operate in fleeting moments during matches, relying heavily on individual brilliance rather than cohesive team efforts.

 Emerging Stars: Bright Spots in the Chaos

While the team dynamics may be questionable, individual brilliance has shone through. Rasmus Hojlund, a 21-year-old sensation, has become United’s go-to match-winner, notching five goals in as many league appearances. Scott McTominay, a super-sub, added to the spectacle with his seventh Premier League goal, emphasizing the team’s reliance on standout performances.

Neville’s Verdict: Identity Crisis

Neville’s assessment echoes a sentiment many share – United lacks a distinct identity. Despite sporadic brilliance from individuals, a clear team identity on and off the ball remains elusive. The midfield struggles against top sides persist, making it easy for opponents to exploit defensive vulnerabilities.

Deflating Facts: Away Struggles Continue

The social media reaction to Ten Hag’s claim of beating anyone was swift and pointed. One user questioned the team’s trajectory under such optimism. Stats from the Arsenal defeat and the draw against Liverpool emphasized the concerning pattern of being overrun in midfield and setting up defensively rather than aiming for a more assertive playstyle.

Away Woes: A Troubling Record

Perhaps the most damning statistic is the fact that Sunday’s victory over Villa was the first away win against a top-nine side since Ten Hag took charge – an eyebrow-raising 20 attempts later. The road struggles raise questions about United’s ability to perform consistently away from Old Trafford.

Conclusion: The Jury is Still Out

While recent victories suggest a glimmer of hope, the underlying issues persist for Manchester United. Ten Hag’s optimism is met with skepticism, and until the team demonstrates a more consistent and cohesive style of play, the debate about their resurgence will continue. The rollercoaster ride to the top for the Red Devils seems far from over, leaving fans and pundits alike eagerly awaiting the team’s next chapter.