Erik ten Hag going into preservation mode in games is a trend which will cost Man United soon – Man United News And Transfer News

Erik ten Hag going into preservation mode in games is a trend which will cost Man United soon – Man United News And Transfer News

Four consecutive Premier League wins, players returning from injury, and the top four in sights. Everything is going right for Manchester United!

Is it though? The nervy win over Luton Town reinforced the notion that United have a tendency to make the game more difficult than it needed to be.

With all due respect to Luton, who have troubled many elites this season, it continued a pattern for United where the control in games, especially after leading, is non-existent.

So, why does this keep happening, especially as Ten Hag no longer lacks numbers on the bench to change the dynamics of the game?

It’s because he does change the dynamic of the game, for the worse.

Near the 84th-minute mark, Ten Hag subbed off Rasmus Hojlund for Sofyan Amrabat, a move that, on surface level, would seem like common sense, but it sums up the mentality at the club.

When Ten Hag made the change, United were increasingly looking like a threat on transitions, thanks in no small part to Hojlund’s incredible hold-up play.

However, Ten Hag went into preservation mode, took off a counter-attacking threat, and invited more pressure on the team.

Ultimately, United were a few centimetres away from dropping two points as a header from Luton in stoppage time skimmed off the bar and over.

This is not the first time it has happened either.

Against Aston Villa, a similarly nervy win, United went into their shell after scoring the second and seemed like they were just hoping for the clock to hit 90 minutes.

Besides the odd convincing win, like the 3-0 victory over West Ham, United have made a habit of grinding out results through sheer numbers in defence instead of controlling the pace.

While grinding out results can be a mark of a top team, it looks like it is the only way this United side gets results.

Ten Hag’s preservation mentality is a big part of the reason why every United game finishes on the knife edge.

In the absence of more control, ultimately, one day, that knife will fall on the wrong side and hurt Ten Hag and United.

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