Cristiano Ronaldo’s split has been good for Manchester United. The team has been undefeated since then. Coach Erik ten Hag even equaled the record of a United coaching legend.
Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag could not resist this dig at Cristiano Ronaldo.
Asked about the recipe for the most recent series of successes since the superstar’s bitter farewell, the coach said: “No one is bigger than the team, everyone has to get involved.” The English football record champion has been unbeaten for eight competitive games and is in a good mood in the derby with unloved neighbors Manchester City on Saturday (1.30 p.m. / Sky).
Released from the house row with Ronaldo, ten Hag even set a record this week. The 3-0 League Cup win over Charlton Athletic was the Dutchman’s 20th win in 27 games since taking charge. No Man United coach before him managed that so quickly, not even club legend Sir Alex Ferguson.
“It’s because we set ourselves high standards every day,” explained ten Hag in an interview with radio station talkSport. It’s all about the team, emphasized the 52-year-old. This is how he proceeded in the Ronaldo dispute.
Only wins since Ronaldo left
The fact that ten Hag increasingly left the Portuguese superstar, who has a starting eleven guarantee from his own self-image, on the bench led to a rift. After a sensational TV interview in which Ronaldo harshly criticized the club and its manager, his time at Old Trafford was up. It should be fine with Ten Hag. Because the 37-year-old was increasingly becoming a problem.
Anyone who feared after Ronaldo’s departure to Saudi Arabia that Man United could weaken in attack saw a lesson. There were three wins in the Premier League. Since then, the team has also won every game in the FA Cup and the League Cup – and is now going into the home game against champions Manchester City with confidence for the first time in a long time.
“I think we can compete with any team,” said ten Hag. “But it’s clear that when Manchester City are at their best, they’re tough opponents for anyone.” United had to experience this first-hand several times recently. The Cityzens won the last three direct encounters with a total of 12:4 goals. In the current season, ten Hag’s team lost 6-3 at the Guardiola Club in September.
City warn against United
But this time the signs are different. While ten Hag is winning with Man United and climbing the Premier League table, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are struggling a little. Without their top striker, ex-Dortmunder Erling Haaland, City surprisingly lost 2-0 in the League Cup against bottom-placed FC Southampton. City captain Ilkay Gündogan was extremely annoyed about this.
With a view to the derby, the German international now warned against Man United. “It seems that they are starting to click, so it’s going to be a very tough game, probably the toughest Manchester derby we’ve had in a number of years,” Gundogan said. “Manchester United are in a really good period right now, they’re full of confidence, they’re hungry and they want to win.”
A win against local rivals would bring Manchester United within a point of City. The gap to leaders Arsenal, who are contesting a derby at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, could shrink to six points. With 20 Premier League games remaining and three competitions in which Manchester United are still involved, there still seems to be a lot possible for Erik ten Hag and his team.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.