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The Failure of Manchester United 

After last season’s 3rd place finish, Manchester United currently sits in 6th place in the Premier League and is eliminated from the UEFA Champions League. Erik Ten Hag’s men have struggled this season, and the cycle of varying league finishes leaves the fans in confusion.

Ultimately, the main reason for the failure of Manchester United is that the players who sign for Manchester United do not live up to expectations. This has been a problem that has both preceded Erik Ten Hag, and continued with him.

Jadon Sancho, a winger who was signed for 73 million pounds in the summer of 2021 from Borussia Dortmund, contributed just 18 goal contributions in 82 games for Manchester United and has now been exiled on loan to Borussia Dortmund after a  

Another example of Manchester United’s poor transfer policy is the signing of Brazilian winger Antony, who was bought from Ajax in August 2022 for 82 million pounds and has contributed only 13 goal contributions in 69 games for the club. Another Ajax signing, central defender Lisandro Martinez, has proven to be a key defensive piece when he is healthy.

However, transfer policy alone has not been a source of controversy during Erik Ten Hag’s tenure as he has been unafraid to put players on blast to the public, resulting in controversies and uneasy morale in his squad.

One of the players to get into a public spat with Ten Hag was Cristiano Ronaldo, who then proceeded to air out his grievances with Ten Hag in a highly publicized interview with Piers Morgan where he proceeded to state “The coach didn’t have respect for me. So, this is why the relationship, it’s in that way,”

Star man Marcus Rashford was spotted at Thompson’s Garage nightclub in Belfast just hours before he was supposed to train with the team. The lack of camaraderie and respect players have for Ten Hag shows up in moments like these, with Ten Hag’s willingness to hold players accountable in the public eye polarizing to his own team.

Ten Hag’s tenure has continued the cycle of varying finishes of Manchester United as the players have only recently started to pick up motivation with less than half of the season left in hand. It is up to Ten Hag and the players to either stick with their middling ways or to chase a European qualification spot and potentially even more.

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