Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham and Liverpool are giving Manchester United a Premier League lesson Erik ten Hag must learn

United are 10th in the Premier League, eight points off the summit and five from the top four


Even though Manchester United may have won a match under Fergie at the weekend, the current Reds squad is still a far cry from the trophy-chasing machine that the Old Trafford legend led.

A campaign of development has been halted by a rocky start to this season, despite Erik ten Hag’s delivery of the Carabao Cup last season, which put an end to a six-year search for silverware. There is some relief because injuries are a major factor as the Reds look for their best starting lineup.

However, crucial players have not been performing well, and, with the exception of Rasmus Hojlund, the summer’s new hires have not yet shown themselves. Even the additions from last summer remain uncertain.

No-one expected United under Ten Hag to be a quick fix. It was always going to take time to right a tanker heading for an iceberg, saddled with dead-weight owners who are a huge hindrance.

However, the Premier League is expected to be the most competitive in years this season. It’s likely that a top-five finish will earn a team a spot in the Champions League, however you could make a strong case for nine teams making the cut. And the majority is arriving with United.

Tottenham have made a strong start under a new manager with a clear management style after losing their greatest and most influential player and starting from scratch. Spurs may not be better than United in every way on a man-for-man basis, but they certainly give the impression to be. They are organized, well-trained, and have a clear plan that enables their talent to flourish.

Jurgen Klopp’s team had to make a number of late-season additions to their roster in order to revitalize its midfield, but overall they have progressed well. While United’s newcomers are still settling in, their summer additions have stepped right in. Merseysiders have just lost once so far this campaign and appear ready to challenge Manchester City and Arsenal.

Even without considering the possibilities of teams like Newcastle United and Chelsea to create a European campaign, sides like Brighton and Aston Villa appear to be more well-rounded than United. Yes, Ten Hag had work to do at Old Trafford, but there is always work to be done at the highest level.

The Reds have made significant investments, yet they still lack a distinct identity and continue to play a counterattack and hyperpress style. They are neither masters of the ball nor quick to turnover. Ten Hag will probably pull a tune out of this team given enough time, and things may work out well and click. But football and the Premier League do not have time to spare. United cannot afford to be late because other top-tier heavyweights are using their time more efficiently..


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