How Manchester United went from Brentford ‘annihilation’ to a ‘buzzing’ Old Trafford as Erik ten Hag reveals demands he places on his players after Arsenal win

    It’s still some way off the spectacular highs in the glory days under Sir Alex Ferguson but lately there’s been a whiff that Manchester United could just be on the path to success again at long last.

    The 2022/23 season looked set to be the perhaps the most traumatic in a generation for Man United fans with the Red Devils succumbing to defeats in their opening two matches.

    Man United were in crisis mode following their defeat to Brentford

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    Man United were in crisis mode following their defeat to Brentford

    But things can change very quickly in a matter of weeks

    Getty

    But things can change very quickly in a matter of weeks

    Their 4-0 defeat at Brentford, a match that saw Erik ten Hag’s men ship all the goals in the opening 35 minutes, was described as an ‘annihilation’ for a club that’s been experiencing a steady decline since the great Scot departed in 2013.

    A new wave of anti-Glazer protests begun ahead of their next match, some of them taking a virulent turn, as calls for the unpopular owners to end all ties with the club continued to happen.

    But less than two weeks after the club seemed more divided each other, United lived up to their name as Erik ten Hag’s resurgent team made it four wins on the spin, registering perhaps their most impressive victory this term as they got the better of a high-flying Arsenal.

    Roy Keane told Sky Sports after their 3-1 victory: “A hugely important win for United.

    “I think what I’ve liked seeing about this team over the past few weeks is the spirit and personality of the team.

    “They were excellent, they were clinical and maybe could have scored a few more goals.

    Man United were united as they inflicted a first defeat of the season on Arsenal

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    Man United were united as they inflicted a first defeat of the season on Arsenal

    “Another big win for the club and the momentum’s coming back for the club, the feel-good factor’s there, fans are buzzing. It’s a good day for them.

    “There’s been a lot of negativity, last season, the start of this season, but when you win a few football matches everyone feels great.”

    Such is the feelgood factor among those associated with Man United, that one fan even called for the anti-Glazer sentiment to be put on ice…

    That hope is very pie in the sky but there’s no doubt all Man United fans can get behind the manager at least.

    And it’s his post-match comments which shed light on how he’s managing to get a tune out of this group of players so early into his Old Trafford premiership.

    Ten Hag said: “You have to live high standards every day. That is my demand, those are my coaches’ demands and I believe the players in our team have those demands.

    “We already have a lot of players in the team who have won many trophies and they have to bring that in the dressing room.

    “Every day, get the best out of yourself, demand it from each other and then we will improve even more.”

    The win won’t do much to change the view on the Glazer family among Man United fans

    AFP

    The win won’t do much to change the view on the Glazer family among Man United fans

    But they’re all behind this man

    AFP

    But they’re all behind this man

    And those who witnessed the club’s glory days will be in no doubt that the values Ten Hag is trying to instil is Manchester United.

    A debut goal from Antony – an £85million deadline day signing from Ajax – added to the optimism around Old Trafford and Ten Hag believes he will only get better.

    Ten Hag is also expecting big things from new boy Antony who marked his debut in style following his Ł80.6million move on transfer deadline day.

    “I know what he can be, I talked before the game we needed that on the right wing,” the Dutchman said of his former Ajax player.

    “With his pace, his dribbles, his pressing capabilities, he’s really good with that, we’ve seen that and at this moment he lacks a little bit of power, he missed some training, injury the last 10 days.

    “You can see his potential. He has to work for it to get that, the intensity of the Premier League is going to be high and a challenge for him, but we’ve seen his potential today, it’s great he scored the first goal.”

    Ten Hag, though, isn’t going to get carried away by a run of form which has them to sixth in the Premier League, three points off leaders Arsenal.

    He said: “I understand fans are dreaming, the standards of Manchester United has to be good, we’re at the start of a process, we’re still far away.

    “We have to get doing things much better than we do, that’s an investment, we have to do that way together every day, we have to get better if you want to win trophies in the end.”

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