Ten Hag impressed by Man Utd’s ‘mentality’, confident ‘missing link’ Antony will ‘be a threat’

·3-min read
Ten Hag praises Man Utd Credit: PA Images
Ten Hag praises Man Utd Credit: PA Images

Erik ten Hag praised his Manchester United players after his side beat Arsenal 3-1 at Old Trafford to record their fourth win in a row.

The Red Devils made a terrible start to the 2022/23 campaign, losing to Brighton and Brentford.

It looked then that Man Utd could be in for another dismal season. But optimism around the club is building as they have now won four games in a row.

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Their latest win came against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford. 

United were on the back foot for much of the game as Arsenal looked to maintain their perfect start to the new season.

The hosts did go ahead against the run of play as Antony finished off a smart move to score on his debut.

Arsenal’s pressure paid off as Bukayo Saka equalised for his side after an hour. They were not level for long though as Marcus Rashford made it 2-1 six minutes later.

With the Gunners chasing the game, United caught them on the counter-attack and Rashford finished off the move to score his second and his side’s third.

Man Utd saw out the game to clinch an important three points. They are now just three points adrift of league leaders Arsenal.

Speaking post-match, Ten Hag insisted that there is still “a lot of room for improvement” for his team:

“I thought the first 10 minutes was the best we have played so far this season. But after the cancelled goal it wasn’t as good,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports.

“But we had a good team today, good team spirit, they fought, they recovered, Arsenal created chances but we scored great goals, we were great on the break.”

On Arsenal’s threat going forward: “I know our defence can deal with that but they have a lot of creativity. We could’ve done things better but we are not as long together as Arsenal. When we get that in we will have better control of the game, that’s hard work, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

“We had a good plan, we didn’t get it all on the pitch, we couldn’t control it when we should have. We got a set back and we fight back, that’s good to see. I like this mentality.

“Arsenal played well but we defended well – I never had the feeling that they’d break us. They had a lot of movement and creativity but we defended as a team with all 11.

“We can have better pressing and organisation, we can control the game more, we can be better in possession with better composure n the ball then we will dictate the game even more. We haven’t been together long so we’ll work on it.”

Ten Hag went onto back Antony to “be a threat in the Premier League” as he is their “missing link”:

“We can make speed and creativity together, he will be a threat in the Premier League. We were missing a player on the right wing, [Jadon] Sancho and [Marcus] Rashford can play there but they prefer the left so now we have the missing link who can play well on the right.

!He did well but I think he can do better, he had a great goal but all the goals were team goals.

“It’s a process – you have to lift the standards every day. That is my demand and the players in our team have that demand, we have many players in the team who have won trophies and they have to bring that standard. Get the best out of them every day.

“We have to think about Europa League – today we will have a short celebration and tomorrow focus will be on the next game.”

 

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