Arsenal Vs Man United: Erik Ten Hag Has To Revert To Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Era To Grind Out A Result Against High-flying Arsenal

Kingsley Ikechi
Man United are set for an epic showdown at the Emirate Stadium on Sunday when they travel to North London to face high-flying, table-topping Arsenal.

The Red Devils were stunned late at Selhurt Park by a cracking Palace free-kick to end a run of nine consecutive victories in all competitions for United.

reacting in the aftermath of the game, United boss Erik Ten Hag bemoaned his side’s inability to see off their lead. United’s woes were compounded on the night when Casemiro received a yellow card for foul on Wilfried Zaha, which meant he’ll miss United’s trip to Arsenal through suspension.

Quizzed on United’s chances to grind out a meaningful result at Arsenal without Casemiro who has been the bedrock to United’s resurgence, Ten Hag expressed confidence in his team’s capabilities without Casemiro.

“Last time we beat Arsenal without Casemiro, now this time, we have to do the same” He said.

Looking ahead to the Arsenal trip, the defensive midfield position is definitely the United gaffer’s most worrisome issue. Casemiro has provided immeasurable solidity to the United lineup since signing from Real Madrid last summer.

The 30-year-old has not only been instrumental in halting opposition attack, but also progressing the ball further up for United’s attacks.

with two goals and four assists already registered in all competitions, the Brazilian will definitely be a big miss for Erik Ten Hag on Sunday.

Sighting the Devils opponent Arsenal, Erik Ten Hag is surely looking to ensure enough bodies in the middle of the park, especially bearing in mind Arsenal’s inverted full-back, Zinchenko usually ensures Arsenal outnumber their opponent in the middle.

Bearing this in mind, it is imperative for Ten Hag to ensure his side occupy lots of spaces in the middle to afford any chance of grinding out a result at Arsenal.

In the derby victory against Man City, the Dutch gaffer opted for Fred in middle to ensure United covered lots of spaces in the midfield. That decision paid off especially in the first-half as Man city struggled to find spaces to link-up play.

With the presence of Casemiro, Fred, Eriksen and Fernandes dropping occasionally into the midfield, United were able to neutralize City’s firepower especially in the first-half and ultimately running away with all three points to hand Erik Ten Hag his first derby victory as United gaffer.

This combination is definitely not possible against Arsenal due to Casemiro’s absence, but there’s definitely the option of Scott McTominay for Ten hag to consider.

The 25-year-old is of course not technically gifted as Casemiro, but can be called upon in times like this.

United can’t afford to hand Arsenal spaces in between the defence line, especially with Martin Ordegaard in blistering form.

A Mc-Fred combination in the middle definitely seems like Ten Hag’s most pragmatic approach to Sunday’s cracker. With both ensuring the likes of Odegaard are denied spaces to link-up play for the Gunners.

The combination of McTominay and Fred in the United middle generated overwhelming frustration amongst United faithfuls in the past for its lack of creativity and ball progression. This was during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s era as United boss. But with Ten Hag’s arrival and Christian Eriksen’s presence in the middle alongside, Man United can definitely afford some creativity against Arsenal even with Mc-Fred in the middle.

Ten Hag has to ensure his side’s solidity against the Gunners through the strength and energy of Mc-fred, especially with Eriksen clearly not suitable enough for high energy defensive duties, as was clearly witnessed in the Manchester derby.

It would definitely be a gamble too huge for United to field a midfield trio of Fred-Eriksen-Fernandes. A combination of Fred-McTominay-Eriksen-Fernandes will defintely ensure Man United stand a greater chance of getting a good result when they travel to North London on Sunday to fa

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