Ten Hag looked glumly-faced on the touchline as the Dutch manager watched United stumble to a frustrating defeat against Brighton, his team being badly beaten in the first half, then failing to produce any kind of second-half rally. All the pre-season optimism and Erik ten Hag have curdled away, with Old Trafford turning into a theatre for the Dutchman’s worst nightmares. It was the worst start to the campaign for United under Erik ten Hag. Meanwhile, Manchester United fans are still waiting to see how much impact Ten Hag has following a disappointing defeat.
Ten Hag was brought into Manchester United in an attempt to help bridge a gap with their crosstown rivals, who finished 35 points adrift of City in the Premier League last season. Ten Hag has impressed since taking charge, with United looking to bolster its squad, with United looking to end a relatively trophy-laden drought. For United Premier League First Team, Ten Hag solved the issue of an enforced absence of Anthony Martial due to his hamstring injury by selecting Christian Eriksen in a false-9, a move that did not pan out. Brighton looked set to score at every point, so it was up to Erik ten Hag and his players to get their bodies together for the trip to Brentford the following weekend, then the next home game against Liverpool.
The equally dire deficit at the break reflected United’s mediocrity. Still, it is evident that they woke up once Cristiano Ronaldo replaced Fred, and Brighton, either deliberately or subliminally, decided to sit back. Seven minutes into the second half, however, Erik Ten Hag turned on Ronaldo’s side, and Fred made way, with Cristiano Ronaldo moving to the preferred number nine spot, with Christian Eriksen moving back into a deeper-lying, pull-the-strings role. Even though Cristiano Ronaldo could not help Manchester United get a draw against Brighton in their Premier League match at Old Trafford, manager Erik ten Hag believes the striker enhanced the Red Devils’ performance. There were several pregame discussions regarding whether the Portuguese superstar would make the Dutchman’s starting XI despite the fact that there were multiple run-ins during the summer.
Despite the draw, United players individually put in a good display on the field. The debutant, Eriksen, was the best performer for Red Devils as he was seen everywhere on the field, made quick passes, tried to take a few shots from outside the box, and made attacking runs. Eriksen looks to be a good fit in Ten Hag’s tactics; there are a few factors the manager has to consider to boost the performance of other players. Captain Maguire was good in the defence and also made good passes, but he needs to make quick passes; that’s what I feel.