Manchester United have taken their fourth defeat of the Premier League season at Old Trafford this afternoon, as Crystal Palace take a 1-0 victory away from their visit to the Red Devils.
The theatre of dreams has become home to nightmares for Man United fans as their 2023/24 campaign takes another blow in front of the home support, with only three wins tallied up over their first seven fixtures of the season.
Erik ten Hag will surely be feeling the pressure after another uninspiring and lacklustre performance from his squad who were unable to dominate in their own backyard against Roy Hodgson’s South London stars.
Despite having 77% possession, more shots on goal (19 v 8), more big chances created (2 v 1), more passes completed (646 v 145) and more duels won (63 v 57), it just wasn’t enough to take a positive result or even a point from their visitors this afternoon.
The result comes just four days after Man United knocked Palace out of the Carabao Cup, where they comfortably dominated the side with a 3-0 win at Old Trafford, so it begs the question – what went wrong today?
The Dutch coach spoke out after the game in his post match interview about his team’s awful start:
“It’s a bad start. We have to catch up and do better,”
“This is not good enough. Of course, it’s frustrating for everyone, especially the fans. It’s frustrating but for us, as well, the players and for me. We have to stay together, fight together and get better and make sure we get improvement.”
There have been reports from FourFourTwo over the last few weeks about the fragility of the former Ajax boss’ future on the red side of Manchester, and today’s result will likely add fuel to the fire about the potential of his sacking in the near future should results not improve considerably imminently.
Our verdict on the pressure on Erik ten Hag…
Considering Man United have only taken nine points from a possible 21 so far and are currently tenth in the Premier League table, for any other manager leading a club of this stature would find themselves in serious hot water.
Having said that, the club have been going through non-stop adversity when it has come to recruiting management and behind-the-scenes personnel ever since Sir Alex Ferguson, and the players in the squad have also not helped the situation either.
Ten Hag has famously had conflict with club legend Cristiano Ronaldo, who then departed mid-season after mutually agreeing to terminate his contract, whilst Jadon Sancho is the last to become an outcast after countering comments from the manager about his quality of training over the last few weeks and months.
As a result, creating a positive culture and building some momentum in upcoming games will be absolutely crucial for Ten Hag to retain his role in an extremely concerning time for the club, and points must start coming thick and fast.
With that being said, it will be interesting to see whether the hierarchy at Man United will continue to back their managerial appointment or start looking at their options, either way a quick recovery will be much-needed when the Red Devils host Galatasaray at home on Tuesday.