Blistering Man Utd form forces pundit into ‘laughable’ U-turn, with Ten Hag better than Sir Alex Ferguson in crucial stat

Erik ten Hag of Man Utd Credit: Alamy
Erik ten Hag of Man Utd Credit: Alamy

Erik ten Hag has reached 20 Manchester United victories quicker than legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, and the Red Devils’ incredible form has resulted in a pundit completing an embarrassing U-turn on Ten Hag.

Man Utd have won all of their last nine matches in all competitions. This has seen them move into the top four and close the gap on league leaders Arsenal and Manchester City, as well as progressing in cup competitions.

Man Utd beat Everton 3-1 on January 6 to book their spot in the FA Cup fourth round. They will play Reading for a place in the fifth round on January 28.

Ten Hag’s side also eased past Charlton Athletic with a 3-0 victory to reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals, where they will come up against Nottingham Forest.

The win against Charlton was Ten Hag’s 20th as Man Utd boss. He managed this in 27 matches, which is quicker than Ferguson (45) Sir Matt Busby (40) and Jose Mourinho (31).

But it isn’t just against smaller teams that Man Utd have been shining. In their last outing they triumphed 2-1 over local rivals Manchester City, which took their winning run to nine.

Dutch pundit Hugo Borst was sceptical about Ten Hag’s move to Old Trafford, suggesting it would fail as the role has proven to be something of a poisoned chalice in recent years.

But Borst has now held his hands up and admitted that the 52-year-old has embarrassed his previous claims. “Saturday’s defeat of great rival Manchester City marked the ninth win in a row,” he wrote in Dutch newspaper AD (via Sport Witness).

Ten Hag breaks Man Utd record

“No manager at this complicated club before him achieved 20 wins so quickly. Ten Hag thus beat both Louis van Gaal (36 games) and Alex Ferguson.

“The way Ten Hag’s team kept Manchester City in check was impressive. That Erik ten Hag demands this of his players, we know of course. He worked wonders at Ajax.

“Only, that was in the Netherlands. That he achieves this in the league where the best football in the world is played is so clever.

“Manchester United’s transformation is impressive, but it is merely a prelude to what Ten Hag hopes to achieve. The championship will probably come too soon, but the club is on the right track.

“Confession: it was me who lectured Ten Hag back in August, more pedantic than cocky. Feel free to say it was reckless. Shameful. Laughable.”

Man Utd fans will be delighted to see Ten Hag proving so many of his doubters wrong. There were questions over whether he was the right man for the job, given his inexperience managing in a top-five European league.

But Ten Hag has adapted brilliantly to his role at Man Utd. He has quickly understood what it takes to outsmart opponents in the Premier League.

But it isn’t just about Man Utd’s performances on the pitch. Ten Hag has gotten rid of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was becoming frustrated and a potential distraction in the dressing room. And this has allowed a younger alternative in the form of Marcus Rashford to flourish.

The Dutch coach is putting his trust in even younger players, too. Alejandro Garnacho is now an important first-team player, while debuts have been given to Facundo Pellistri and Kobbie Mainoo.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s Euro Paper Talk claims Man Utd could beat Arsenal to the capture of a goalscoring machine.

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