The Erik ten Hag Era at Manchester United: A Seemingly Inevitable Conclusion?

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The tenure of Erik ten Hag at Manchester United took another blow on Monday night as the Red Devils were handed a 4-0 defeat by Crystal Palace. This defeat stands as one of the heaviest defeats under the Dutchman’s leadership. While Ten Hag remains confident about his future, he acknowledges that his team is underperforming. Currently, Manchester United is on track for their lowest finish in Premier League history, sitting in eighth place. The team has already suffered 13 league defeats, the highest total since the 1989/90 season.

Interestingly, in the 1989/90 season, Manchester United went on to lift the FA Cup. However, Ten Hag’s future at the club may depend on avoiding another embarrassing loss to old rivals Arsenal in the upcoming final at Wembley. This presents a dilemma for the Old Trafford faithful, as a victory for Manchester United could potentially hand the title to Manchester City.

Arsenal’s Strong Favourites Status

Arsenal, under the management of Mikel Arteta, have had a stellar campaign, earning the tag of strong favorites in their journey to Manchester. Since their defeat to Aston Villa, the Gunners have won four consecutive league matches, three of which were accompanied by clean sheets. This impressive run has kept the pressure on Pep Guardiola’s defending champions.

However, despite holding a one-point lead before the round, Arsenal’s fate remains out of their hands. Their record at Old Trafford suggests that they may be in for another year of title heartbreak. The Gunners have only managed to win one of their last 16 Premier League visits to the Theatre of Dreams since September 2006, with five draws and ten losses. Nevertheless, the fact that they have scored in each of their last nine visits indicates that they are unlikely to go down without a fight.

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The Key Battle: Jonny Evans vs. Kai Havertz

One crucial aspect of the upcoming clash will be the battle between Jonny Evans and Kai Havertz. As the only fit senior centre-back at Manchester United, Evans could play a pivotal role in his team’s chances of success. It is worth noting that Evans has been booked a career-high seven times against Arsenal, including during the Red Devils’ famous 8-2 victory in August 2011. On the other hand, each time Havertz has scored for Arsenal, they have gone on to win 12 times.

Hot Streak and Defensive Struggles

Manchester United’s recent form has been marred by defensive struggles. The team has failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last nine competitive matches. In the Premier League, they have only managed two clean sheets since mid-December. This defensive vulnerability will be a significant concern for Ten Hag as he prepares his team to face Arsenal’s attacking prowess.

In conclusion, the Erik ten Hag era at Manchester United seems to be heading towards an inevitable conclusion. The recent heavy defeat to Crystal Palace, coupled with the team’s underperformance and low league position, raises questions about Ten Hag’s future. The upcoming clash against Arsenal will be crucial for both teams, with Arsenal aiming to maintain their title challenge and Manchester United desperate to salvage their season. The battle between Jonny Evans and Kai Havertz will be a key factor in determining the outcome of the match. However, Manchester United’s defensive struggles and Arsenal’s strong record at Old Trafford suggest that the Gunners may have the upper hand in this encounter.

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