Manchester United fans will argue that they they are transitioning to a possession style football under Ten Haag. But, looking at their performance against Arsenal, it was much more of a Ole Solskjaer kind of performance than a Ten Haag style of play. I know that they were ripped apart against Brentford in their attempt to play out from the back. But, how do you learn if you go back to the counter attacking tactics after the first setback itself?
I am digging deep into this because there were certain elements in that Brentford defeat which City also experienced in Pep’s first season. But, City never switched to a counter attacking approach for some temporary relief. In fact, we played through those tough moments and developed nerves of steel. The struggles in those difficult moments helped us later on in the subsequent moments to play out of tight spaces without flinching a nerve. I feel it is important for Ten Haag to embrace the problems rather than running away from them to live an other day.
The overwhelming feeling among all of the fans is that United will play exactly like they did against Arsenal. It would take a very brave man to bet against it. But, Ten Haag will need to test his tactics and style of play against the big teams sooner than latter. He just cannot stick to playing on the counter attack forever. I somehow have a feeling that Ten Haag would try to go toe to toe against City and battle with us for Possession.
I know that the very thought of trying to battle City for possession will send shivers down the spine of United fans. You could even argue that the demons of Brentford might return to haunt them. But, how do you fight those demons if you don’t face unto them against the Champion’s of the land. I might be in the minority here, but I have a feeling that Ten Haag would have reflected hard and long through the International break and he will look to play his possession style of football and go toe to toe with City
As for Pep, he will be ready for both the approaches that United might implement. In fact, the ability of Pep to superbly manage in-game tactics will make sure that he will always have something up his sleeve. The return of Kyle Walker will be a shot in the arm for Pep. The recovery pace of Walker would mean that we could play the game that bit higher, knowing that Walker will take care of things at the back with his extreme speed and agility.
Come Sunday, it will be a very exciting derby to watch. The fascinating thing would be the tactical battle between both the managers. As for Ten Haag, it would also mean a decision to make with regards to they style of play that he will implement. will he hide behind the curtains of Counter Attack or will he show the character in playing out form the back?