Premier League

Graeme Souness praises ‘admirable’ Erik ten Hag but warns him Man United fans won’t be happy with new style | Football

Erik ten Hag has turned Manchester United’s form around. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Manchester United have been impressive under Erik ten Hag but the new manager could lose supporters’ trust if he doesn’t change his style of play, according to pundit and former player Graeme Souness.

Ten Hag got off to a rocky start to his United dugout career, losing their opening two games to Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford, the latter in humiliating fashion as the Bees scored four goals before half-time.

Since then, however, United have won four straightaways, including victories over Liverpool and Arsenal at Old Trafford, to move up to fifth in the Premier League standings.

Ten Hag was universally lauded for turning the Red Devils’ form after they looked lost in those opening defeats and they became the first team to take points from Mikel Arteta’s Gunners as they secured a 3-1 win on Sunday afternoon .

Although impressed by the character of United’s performances, Souness believes fans will start demanding a new style of play that is more exciting and less pragmatic.

“They are tenacious, determined, they show real spirit and togetherness,” the former Liverpool captain and manager told Talksport. “I think they play pragmatic now, they don’t play like Manchester United.”

Ever since I’ve been in football, Man United have played in a certain way, which is exciting on the forefoot. They’re impressive because they’ve shown a cohesion to win games, but does he want to play like that in the future? Is this how Man United fans want their team to play? No.’

“But there was a bit of a reorientation to think, ‘We have to be a little more careful, a little more pragmatic’, and right now it’s working for them.”

United continue their season with a Europa League game at home to Real Sociedad on Thursday before traveling to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace on Sunday.

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