Mourinho assistant tells Ten Hag what Man Utd are missing as Red Devils struggle to break cycle

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Bruno Fernandes Erik ten Hag Manchester United
Jose Mourinho’s former assistant at Manchester United, Rui Faria, has told the Red Devils what they are still missing under Erik ten Hag.
  • Red Devils have been rebuilding for years
  • Tangible success hard to come by
  • Dutch coach the latest to take on challenge

WHAT HAPPENED? The Premier League heavyweights have found themselves stuck in a continuous cycle of rebuilding following the departure of iconic manager Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2013. Numerous coaches have tried and failed to recapture former glories at Old Trafford – with Mourinho coming as close as anybody as he collected three trophies – and Ten Hag is finding out the hard way in 2022-23 how difficult stability can be to establish.

WHAT THEY SAID: Faria - who formed part of United’s coaching team when they won the Community Shield, League Cup and Europa League in 2016-17 – has told The Times: “We arrived at a club that was missing stability and identity and you don’t just click your fingers and rebuild it. It takes time, and you also need to win, because people will not accept if you are not winning, so when Jose says [2016-17] is one of his best seasons he is right, because we achieved the last titles that the club won and its best period since Ferguson.

“What is missing – still – is the stability, and the club needs to define what it wants. At City, it is the sixth season that Pep [Guardiola] is there and he has the stability of putting his concepts into the club, the stability to buy players to fit his concepts, the stability to buy on top of successes.”

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: The gulf in class between United and City was highlighted once again during a Premier League derby date at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with the reigning champions enjoying a crushing 6-3 victory over their arch-rivals that saw Erling Haaland and Phil Foden record hat-tricks.


Manchester City Manchester United 2022-23

Christian Eriksen Manchester United 2022-23

Erik ten Hag Manchester United 2022-23

DID YOU KNOW? Since the start of 2020-21, Man Utd have conceded 4+ first-half goals in four Premier League games (v Spurs in Oct 2020, Liverpool in Oct 2021, Brentford in Aug 2022, Man City Oct 2022); this is twice as often as any other side in this time.

WHAT NEXT FOR MAN UTD? The Red Devils are being forced back to the drawing board following a humbling defeat against City. They face Cypriot side Omonia in the Europa League on Thursday.