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Erik Ten Hag Demands 'Control' After Manchester United's 2-2 Draw Against Aston Villa

Michael Tunstall

| Last updated 

Erik Ten Hag Demands 'Control' After Manchester United's 2-2 Draw Against Aston Villa

Erik ten Hag has voiced his frustration after Manchester United produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance in Perth.

Control is a word that Ten Hag has used frequently in his short stint as Manchester United manager and it would be hard to find a better game to demonstrate what he means by that.

In what was quite literally a game of two halves, United cruised into a comfortable two goal lead and were in total control at half time. The second half told a different story.

Credit: Manchester United
Credit: Manchester United

The Reds came out a different team and Aston Villa were a threat right from the second half whistle, driven by Leon Bailey’s directiveness on the right.

Despite many changes from both sides, United almost hung on for the win but a late Calum Chambers header ensured that Aston Villa maintained their undefeated record so far in pre-season.

When asked what he made of the game, Ten Hag was sure to praise the opening stages before claiming that the team will need to learn from the second half.

“First half, decent performance, two-nil up. Second half, we came back out of the dressing room, we had to control the game but we gave it away. That’s no good, so there is a lesson," he told MUTV.


Erik ten Hag is challenged by not only changing the way these players approach the game on the pitch but also their mentality, which has been a clear problem in recent years. 

In what is still a period where ten Hag is learning about his squad he still sees progress since taking the helm at Manchester United. 

“I think the players and the team have made a lot of progress. I will say a lot of positive aspects, also setbacks, but this is part of the season. You have to deal with it.”

Despite taking positives from the tour, Ten Hag will be keen to see further improvements in the last two friendlies, both against Spanish opposition, before the season begins against Brighton on the 7th August.

Credit: Manchester United
Credit: Manchester United

In a pre-season that has seen different styles and systems deployed, the Dutchman will be hoping to use the final friendlies to solidify his approach before he takes charge of his first competitive fixture at Old Trafford.

“We played a different type of football and different systems and I think this will also be the case [against Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano]. We face two Spanish teams. A different approach.

"We want to play proactive football. We want to play with initiative. We want to play attacking football. I think today we have seen over long periods but in the end you have to control the game and that’s what we didn’t do.”

Credit: Manchester United
Credit: Manchester United

There have been promising signs in pre-season that Ten Hag’s philosophy is already coming to fruition but the key is implementing this over the course of 90 minutes and not over a half or short spells within games.

Control is the key and Ten Hag will be hoping to see more of that against Atletico Madrid next Saturday, which will arguably be United’s toughest challenge yet this pre-season.

Featured Image Credit: Manchester United

Topics: Manchester United, Aston Villa, Football, Premier League, Erik Ten Hag

Michael Tunstall
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