With one third of the 2023-24 season now complete, it would appear that Erik ten Hag has been unable to alleviate any of the constant, lingering pressure that continues to be exerted on his position in the dugout at Old Trafford. Since being appointed in April 2022, the Dutchman has racked up 79 games in charge at United and while full honour and prestige has eluded the club in that time, there have at least been glimmers of burgeoning positivity here and there.
United are currently sixth in the Premier League, four points behind Aston Villa and five points off the Champions League places with 12 games played. However, despite stumbling to suboptimal defeats in the League Cup and the Europa League in recent weeks, domestic results have been fairly consistent to the point that they are actually the top flight’s form team.
While Ten Hag may still have his doubters within the fanbase, there are several positive stats to take heed of that might go some way to easing the tension. Indeed, they might even go some way to convince some that his Old Trafford tenure so far hasn’t been quite as underwhelming as it might seem.
1. Ten Hag is getting points on the board
After overseeing four wins and one defeat since the start of October, Ten Hag has now taken 12 points from his last five Premier League games which is more than any other manager in the top flight.
Man United have won more Premier League points than Man City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Newcastle in the past fives matches 👀 pic.twitter.com/VzAJDUvFi4
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) November 12, 2023
Jurgen Klopp has won 11 points with Liverpool in the same time frame to come closest to matching Ten Hag’s recent haul, while Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta have both claimed 10 points with Manchester City and Arsenal, respectively.
2. Ten Hag is outperforming Klopp and Arteta
Ten Hag has earned more points from his first 50 Premier League games in charge of Manchester United than Jurgen Klopp did at the beginning of his Liverpool reign.
Erik ten Hag has earned more points from his first 50 Premier League games in charge of Man United than Jurgen Klopp did for Liverpool 👀🧠 pic.twitter.com/Niw5KdphzY
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) November 11, 2023
The Dutch coach has plundered 96 points from his first half-century of English top flight fixtures, which is four more points than his Germán counterpart mustered in the same period. It’s also comfortably more than Mikel Arteta (75 points) won during his first 50 games as Arsenal manager.
3. Ten Hag is outperforming all other United managers
While hardly scaling the heights thus far, it should be noted that Ten Hag can boast the highest win percentage of any Manchester United manager in history!
Ten Hag is the 17th permanent United manager to amass 50 top flight games in charge of the club and the only one to win 30 of those matches — surpassing the records of David Moyes, Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Indeed, the current United boss has won 50 of his 79 games in charge of United in all competitions which gives him an overall win percentage of 62 percent — two percentage points higher than even the great Sir Alex Ferguson (60 percent) bowed out with.
Of course, Fergie oversaw a grand total 1,476 matches during his 20-year United epoch, winning 884 in total as well as 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups and 2 Champions Leagues — but hey, you can prove anything with statistics!
4. Man Utd are sharing the goals around under Ten Hag
When Victor Lindelöf smashed home his decisive strike against Luton Town last weekend, not only did the Swedish defender register the only goal of the game for United and thus secure back-to-back wins in the Premier League, he also became his side’s 12th different goalscorer this season.
By way of comparison, United also had 12 different goalscorers on the board by the same point (up to and including Nov 13) under Ten Hag last campaign so at the very least a level of consistency has been maintained in terms of goals being produced via a range of sources.
This also represents a slight rise from the 2021-22 season, when United only had 10 individual scorers up and running by mid-November under former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was duly sacked before the end of the very same month.
Now admittedly, it could also serve to highlight the fact that United’s attacking line have hardly been setting the world alight during the first third of the 2023-24 campaign with Marcus Rashford the only recognised forward to have found the net once in the Premier League so far.
5. Ten Hag is already one of United’s most successful modern managers
While United are still some way short of restoring the all-conquering mystique of yesteryear, Ten Hag has still managed to add silverware to the club’s glistening trophy cabinet. The Dutchman ended a relatively strong debut season at Old Trafford having finished third in the Premier League, runners-up in the FA Cup and winners of the League Cup — thus claiming a major honour in his maiden campaign.
He is therefore already one of the club’s most successful coaches of the post-Fergie era, matching Louis van Gaal’s trophy haul (an FA Cup). Only Jose Mourinho has won more silverware with the club since Ferguson’s imperious reign came to an end with the Portuguese accruing a League Cup and a Europa League title during his three-and-a-half-year stint.