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Trophies, winning record and poor defensive statistics – Erik ten Hag at Man Utd

Erik ten Hag is staying as Manchester United manager (John Walton/PA)
Erik ten Hag is staying as Manchester United manager (John Walton/PA)

Erik ten Hag is staying with Manchester United after the club’s new ownership structure opted not to sack the FA Cup-winning manager.

The Dutchman has the second-best win rate of any United boss since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, though his side’s defensive record remains cause for concern.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the key statistics of his Old Trafford reign.

Winning record

Graphic showing win percentages of Manchester United managers since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement: Jose Mourinho 53.8 per cent, Erik ten Hag 57.9, Ole Gunnar Solkskjaer 54.5, David Moyes 52.9, Louis van Gaal 52.4, Ralf Rangnick 37.9
Erik ten Hag has a creditable win percentage (PA graphic)

With 66 wins from 114 games in charge, Ten Hag can point to a 57.9 per cent win record – as well as the recent cup final victory against local rivals Manchester City – to make the case for his continued employment.

Ferguson was just short of 60 per cent and of the five permanent managers appointed since, plus interim boss Ralf Rangnick, only Jose Mourinho (58.3 per cent) ranks above Ten Hag.

The incumbent has lost 27.2 per cent of games though, more than all bar Rangnick (27.6 per cent) and David Moyes (29.4), as his side struggle to turn defeats into draws – just 17 games, or 14.9 per cent, have ended all square.

A nine-game winning run from November 2022 to January 2023, the first two before the mid-season World Cup break and seven more after the resumption, equalled United’s longest such sequence of the post-Ferguson era – set initially under Mourinho from December 2016 to January 2017.

Though they finished third in Ten Hag’s debut season, their subsequent eighth place was their lowest finish of the Premier League era and they were also bottom of a Champions League group containing Bayern Munich, Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen.

On the defensive

Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana, left, is beaten by Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott, not pictured, as Harry Maguire looks on
United’s defensive record under Ten Hag has been a cause for concern (Martin Rickett/PA)

Ten Hag’s side have conceded 148 goals over his two seasons, with their average of 1.30 per game higher than even the 1.28 in a lost half-season under Rangnick (37 in 29 games).

Mourinho (0.84) and Louis van Gaal (0.95) kept their goals against average below one per match, with Moyes at 1.06 and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 1.07.

United finished 2023-24 with their first negative goal difference of the Premier League era after conceding 58, another unwanted club record in the competition, and scoring only 57.

They have conceded four or more in a game seven times under Ten Hag, losing 6-3 and 7-0 to bitter rivals Manchester City and Liverpool respectively in his first season while in his second they let in three or more goals on more occasions (15) than they kept clean sheets (13).

Trophy cabinet

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, centre, surrounded by his coaching staff as he holds the FA Cup
Ten Hag has won a trophy in each season at Manchester United (Nick Potts/PA)

Ten Hag is only the second post-Ferguson manager with multiple trophies to his name, adding the FA Cup to the 2022-23 Carabao Cup.

Mourinho again stands out as the most successful manager of that era after winning both the League Cup and Europa League in the 2016-17 season to add to a Community Shield.

Ten Hag escapes the fate of fellow Dutchman Van Gaal, who was sacked in 2016 immediately after winning the FA Cup. Moyes, like Mourinho, won the Community Shield in his first game but the Scot was unable to build on that.

Ferguson won 38 trophies in 27 years at United, with his 13 Premier League titles alone exceeding the club’s total trophy count in 11 seasons since his departure.

Ten Hag, who also won three Eredivisie titles and two Dutch Cups with Ajax, defiantly stated amid the speculation after the FA Cup final: “If they don’t want me any more, then I go anywhere else to win trophies because that is what I did my whole career.”