Manchester United Drop To Rock Bottom, But Is It Too Early To Judge?

Manchester United’s 4-0 defeat at Brentford reinforced Erik ten Hag’s immense task in turning around the Red Devils’ fortunes. Although United are at the bottom of the Premier League, they have previously been in this position and recovered to finish in a respectable place. 

Manchester United, a team that has often been the favorite for sports bettors who like to use the bonuses and odds available at non gamstop casino sites whenever they take to the pitch, has been a frequent target of criticism from everyone who watches the dire performances that take place on the pitch. 

The managers have been identified as problems in the past. For a time, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was reportedly the problem before fingers were pointed at Ralf Rangnick and he was ultimately criticized for his work as a manager.  Now is perhaps the turn of Ten Hag, as his position as manager has never been under more scrutiny than it is now.  

Although the former Ajax boss has enjoyed success in recent years, his tactics have already faced criticism following Saturday’s embarrassment at the hands of Brentford. His decision to deploy Christian Eriksen instead of Scott McTominay in a more profound midfield role was bold, considering how tall Brentford was. Another poor decision was selecting the 5-foot-9 Lisandro Martinez as centre-back while 6-foot-3 Raphael Varane sat on the bench. 

Brentford had managed to have four shots on target in the first half, all of which found the net. But the Bees could easily have added more to their tally before the break. The hosts outworked and outmuscled United’s players, running 13.8km more than their opponents throughout the match. In response to his side’s defeat, Ten Hag made his players run that distance during practice the following day instead of allowing them to have the day off as had been scheduled. 

United lost four consecutive matches in the 1979-80 season, their last such run of defeats. They have also lost their last seven away matches. This is also the first time they had lost seven consecutive away league games since 1936, when they lost 10 matches on the bounce. Moreover, Ten Hag has become the first manager at the club to lose each of his first two games since John Chapman in November 1921. 

The last time Manchester United were at the bottom of the table was when they were there for three days in August 1992. A 1-1 home draw against Ipswich started them on their way back up. However, they lost just four more games out of their remaining 39, securing the title at the end of the season. They finished the season with 84 points from 42 games with a 10-point lead over Aston Villa in second. 

In 1995, Villa beat them in the season’s opening match. Their position of 19th out of 20 teams lasted for three days when Bolton Wanderers slipped below them. Similarly, in 2007, after a three-match winless start, they were 19th after recording draws against Reading and Portsmouth before a 1–0 defeat in the Manchester derby. However, they then managed to embark on a nine-match unbeaten run as the result sparked an eight-match winning run and the season ended with United as both Premier League and Champions League winners. 

Final Thoughts 

The transfer window is set to close in two weeks, allowing United to strengthen their squad and show their faith in Ten Hag. 

Ten Hag had been expected to have a honeymoon period. However, the team’s latest defeat has changed the sense of hope and optimism that Ten Hag’s arrival brought to the club. It suddenly seems like a long road to the finish line for the Red Devils. 

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