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Erik Ten Hag Manchester United | New EPL Manager Betting Tips

12:33 BST 29/07/2022
Erik ten Hag
The Dutch manager takes over with the aim of guiding the Red Devils to success, but how will he fare at Old Trafford?

By Andrew Passaro & Matthew Williams

Manchester United’s season of misery is over. After finishing with 58 points, their worst point total ever in the Premier League, they will bring in another new manager, Erik ten Hag, as they try to return to the glory days. 

Ten Hag arrives from Ajax, where he won the last four league titles and two of the previous four KNVB Cups in the Dutch Eredivisie. In addition, the 52-year-old pushed Ajax to the UEFA Champions League semifinals in 2019.

Ten Hag Inherits Man U Mess

Manchester United’s squad is all over the place and has needed a proper turnover for a while now. Thankfully, United’s board is finally committed to a total tear-down. 

The spine of the team is in disarray. Paul Pogba, now with Juventus, went from being one of the best young players in the world to someone without a notable moment during his six years with United.

Harry Maguire was the most expensive defender in football but has become a weekly meme on Twitter for his shambolic gameplay. Unlike Pogba, Maguire is still in the squad – for now.

Raphaël Varane was brought in to solidify the backline with his experience with Real Madrid and as a World Cup winner for France. Unfortunately, the center back struggled with injury and was only featured 29 times last season. 

Jadon Sancho was courted for over a year before United finally brought him in, only for him to score just five goals with three assists in all competitions. 

On a brighter note, the Red Devils did bring Cristiano Ronaldo back after more than a decade away. The Portuguese legend did what he always does: score goals. 

Ronaldo notched 24 tallies in all competitions and 18 in the Premier League. The only issue? The 37-year-old has made it clear he wishes to leave Manchester United, a situation still up in the air.

Ten Hag Tactics

Ten Hag prefers to play a 4-3-3 formation with a squad that plays out of the back with a heavy press. This strategy is typical for a Dutch manager from Ajax. 

The new Red Devils manager built his squad at Ajax around youth, with forward Anthony Elanga showing signs of being a quality player. This philosophy would be an ideal way to build the new Manchester United.

Ten Hag has also proven he doesn’t need the best players in the world to be successful, especially after reaching the Champions League semifinal with Dušan Tadić as a center forward. 

The Dutch newcomer will need to cut down on deadweight players and maximize the production from Manchester United’s youth until he can rebuild the roster. 

The immediate goal is to surmount the upstart organizations pushing for a Champions League and Europa berth rather than compete with the perennial powerhouses Manchester City and Liverpool. 

Ten Hag will have one familiar face with this team in midfielder Donny van de Beek. However, his previous two seasons with United have featured him just 50 times, mainly off the bench. 

Van de Beek was loaned to Everton during the second half of the season last year, and his much-heralded move from Ajax to England hasn’t been a smooth ride.

Man United 2022-23 Season Outlook

An interesting quandary will be where Ten Hag lines up Man United’s top players and how many will remain with the club.

The 27-year-old Bruno Fernandes can feature as an eight but typically plays more like a 10. Man United will also need to move on from various veteran players who do not fit Ten Hag’s system. 

David de Gea is still one of the best shot-stoppers in the EPL, and his distribution might not be suitable for Ten Hag’s “build from the back” philosophy. 

Nemanja Matić (Roma of Serie A) has already left, along with Jesse Lingard (Nottingham Forest), Edinson Cavani, and Paul Pogba. Phil Jones and Juan Mata are likely to join this exodus.

Manchester United’s Transfer Window

It has been a busy summer for United, who has been linked with a batch of Ten Hag’s former Ajax players such as Antony, and center back Lisandro Martínez, who recently signed with the club for £48.3m. 

Martinez is the third acquisition of the summer after left back Tyrell Malacia (Feyenoord) and attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen (Brentford).

Manchester United also remains interested in Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, who stood out at Ajax from 2016-2019. Barca is having financial issues and could be convinced to sell for the right price, but the Red Devils face competition from Premier League rivals Chelsea.

Cristiano Ronaldo Problem?

There are rumors that Ronaldo might not want to stick around as the club will participate in the Europa League and not the Champions League. 

Ronaldo, who has played in 187 matches in the Champions League, is in excellent shape, but he will turn 38 in February. Will he sacrifice one of his waning years playing football on Thursdays? 

Also, if he sticks around, will he even play comfortably in Ten Hag’s press-heavy philosophy?

Manchester United Betting with Ten Hag

➕ Manchester United: Finish Outside Top 4 (-200)

Ten Hag will have difficulty lifting Manchester United back to its glory days. With so many players leaving, the Dutch manager will have to integrate plenty of new and potentially less-than-ready faces. 

A Top 4 finish this coming season is a mighty stretch unless they can bring in significant upgrades at every position – which is counteractive to the desired rebuild. 

Also, without the Champions League, Ten Hag might have trouble luring stars to Old Trafford. 

The fact remains that Manchester United will likely get worse before they get better, so it would be wise to place a wager for a finish outside the Top 4 and even Top 6 if available.

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➕ Manchester United: Bottom-Half Finish (+700) at PointsBet Sportsbook

A bolder call with longer odds would be pegging the Red Devils to finish in the bottom half of the 20-team Premier League.