Since taking over as manager of Manchester United in the 2023-2024 season, Erik Ten Hag has implemented a number of tactical changes that have led to a significant improvement in the team’s performances. In this article, we will take a look at the different aspect of Erik ten Hag tactics which the Dutchman has implemented at Manchester United.
One notable transformation is their pressing game. Under Ten Hag’s guidance, United now press much higher up the pitch compared to their previous managers. This shift has resulted in winning the ball back in more dangerous areas and generating increased scoring opportunities. For instance, in their 2-0 victory over Wolves in February, United regained possession in the Wolves’ half a staggering 60 times, leading to 15 shots, with eight on target.
Another noticeable adjustment implemented by Ten Hag is the team’s approach to building up play from the back. Previously, United heavily relied on long balls to their forwards. However, under Ten Hag’s tenure, they have adopted a more patient possession-based style, focusing on constructing attacks through shorter passes. This alteration has empowered United to exert better control over matches and create a greater number of chances. In their 3-1 win against Brentford in March, United boasted 65% possession and generated 19 shots, 10 of which were on target.
Ten Hag has also made significant changes to United’s defensive strategy. Instead of adopting a deep-sitting and reactive approach as seen with previous managers, Ten Hag encourages a proactive defending style, aiming to regain possession higher up the pitch. This modification has resulted in United conceding fewer goals.
Ten Hag has used a variety of formations during his time at United, but his most common formation has been a 4-2-3-1. This formation allows him to have two holding midfielders, who can protect the back four, and three attacking midfielders, who can create chances for the forwards.
Overall, Erik Ten Hag’s tenure at Manchester United has brought about a multitude of positive tactical changes that have led to a considerable enhancement in the team’s performances. With Ten Hag favoring formations like 4-2-3-1, prioritizing high pressing, patient build-up play, and proactive defending, United has emerged as a formidable force capable of challenging for trophies. As Ten Hag continues to develop the team, it will be intriguing to witness how these tactics evolve and further propel United’s success in the future.