Man United FC

Erik ten Hag could be about to discover the severity of Manchester United’s biggest problem

When Manchester United takes on Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night, they will be looking for their fourth consecutive Premier League victory.

If Erik ten Hag has his way, Manchester United’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night will be the last time they face the threat of Harry Kane.

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The United manager, who saw his team reach the FA Cup final on penalties against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday, has identified the England captain as his priority transfer target ahead of the summer transfer window. The Reds are desperate to bolster their attacking options, and Kane is Ten Hag’s ideal signing.

He has established himself as one of the top attackers in the world in recent years, and he would add a goal-scoring assurance to United’s team. If he is able to secure a move to Old Trafford, he will increase his chances of earning his first piece of silverware.

Tottenham’s top-four dreams were shattered after a humiliating 6-1 defeat to Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon, prompting chairman Daniel Levy to remove interim head coach Cristian Stellini just over 24 hours later. Spurs have no clear plan and are quickly becoming a laughingstock, which means Kane should leave in the summer.

They have only won one of their last five league games and have given up nine goals in the last two. If there was ever a good time for United to play them, it is now, even though they may gain confidence from having a fresh figure in the dugout with Ryan Mason in temporary control.

Despite the progress United has made under Ten Hag this season, which has included a trophy and the chance of another in June, their away form has continued to hold them back. Since the beginning of last season, the Reds have routinely struggled on the road in crucial games, a problem that Ten Hag has yet to solve.

United has faced seven of the other nine teams that presently make up the top half of the Premier League table away from home this season and has lost to six of them while winning only once. In those six defeats, they have given up a stunning 25 goals while scoring only six.

They were thrashed by Brentford (4-0), Manchester City (6-3), and Liverpool (7-0), and were comprehensively outclassed by both Newcastle United (2-0) and Aston Villa (3-1), despite the lower scorelines. To their credit, they fought more in their 3-2 loss at Arsenal in January.

Last week, United also fell 3-0 to Sevilla in Spain without putting up a fight. When things go bad, they can’t shake the tendency to disintegrate away from home.

That is why the possibility of the same thing happening at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is unthinkable. Spurs are a sinking ship at the moment, and the prospect of them defeating United, with all of their ongoing issues both on and off the field, is alarming.

Of course, there is no guarantee that United will lose. The Reds have won the last four encounters and had one of their greatest performances of the season in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford in October, winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Bruno Fernandes and Fred.

However, there is always the possibility that United will be defeated due to their record away from home against top-half clubs. It has grown too large to ignore, and Ten Hag must find a solution if the Reds are to have even a remote chance of fighting for the crown next season.

They continue to flee at the first hint of the pressure away from Old Trafford, giving Mason optimism that he can produce a result and restore some Tottenham honor after such a humiliating defeat on Tyneside. United must therefore ensure that they do not capitulate and allow the Londoners to take control.

Without the added spice of a win that would put United nine points ahead of Tottenham in the fight for Champions League qualification, their previous wins and performances should suffice for Ten Hag’s team talk. Spurs are fragile and weak right now, thus United should take advantage of the situation.

If they don’t, their troubles on away days will be exposed much more.


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