Man United FC

Three ways Erik ten Hag could unleash his Manchester United attack after the World Cup without Ronaldo

Erik ten Hag may soon be spoiled for choice in attack at Manchester United, particularly in the wide spaces.

Manchester United began the World Cup break in dramatic fashion, defeating Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon.

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Fresh off the bench, youngster Alejandro Garnacho scored in the 93rd minute to seal a thrilling victory for the Reds, moving them within three points of the Premier League’s top four. Given that they were at the bottom of the standings after the first two rounds of games, they deserve a lot of respect for going into the break within striking distance of the Champions League places.

United’s fortunes have immediately improved under Erik ten Hag, and one would hope that they will only get better as the season unfolds. The Dutchman is learning more and more about his players as the week pass, which means he should be close to settling on his strongest starting lineup moving ahead.

Injury concerns have frequently robbed Ten Hag of the opportunity to settle on a favorite starting lineup this season, particularly in the attacking areas, but there is hope that he will be able to pitch a more stable team following the World Cup. However, given Garnacho’s recent form and Anthony Martial’s return to fitness, Ten Hag may be forced to make some difficult decisions in the coming weeks and months.

But, given the volume of games United still has to play between now and the conclusion of the season, and the fact that they are competing in four different tournaments, adjustments and rotation are to be expected at times. Ten Hag will be able to tinker and experiment as a result of this.

Attack 1 consists of Antony, Martial, and Rashford.

Many United fans, journalists, and experts believe this is the club’s strongest front-three under Ten Hag. During the summer, the former Ajax manager made it his aim to bolster the Reds’ right-wing options, with Antony being his primary target.

After numerous weeks of conjecture, United ultimately signed him near the conclusion of the transfer window, and he has had a great start to life at Old Trafford despite missing the previous five games due to injury. The Brazilian’s setback happened to coincide with Martial’s recovery from a back ailment, so he hasn’t had a chance to play with the Frenchman for a long time. They have only played together once when Martial was forced off with a back injury in last month’s 2-1 triumph against Everton.

Despite his injury issues, Martial has thrived when called upon by Ten Hag this season, scoring four goals and providing two assists in just seven games. He is the Dutchman’s first-choice striker, and he has his complete backing to lead United’s assault.

Rashford, too, has thrived under Ten Hag so far, providing lots of encouragement while also reestablishing himself as a legitimate goal threat.

Attack No. 2: Antony, Martial, and Garnacho

Garnacho’s meteoric rise has propelled him rapidly up the pecking order. After rarely seeing any action this season before starting the 3-0 Europa League triumph over Sheriff Tiraspol on October 27, the Argentine has now appeared in five of United’s past six matches in all competitions.

He has scored twice and assisted twice in his previous four games, proving that his recent inclusion in the team was well-deserved. However, because of his affinity with the left wing, he is directly competing with Rashford for a starting spot every week.

Rashford’s strongest position is left wing, and Ten Hag, with the form he has shown this season, cannot move the England ace out of his strongest squad to accommodate the 18-year-old, no matter how much potential he is showing. At some point, United should experiment with Garnacho on the right.

However, if Ten Hag is ever without Rashford or decides to alter things up, possibly for a cup match, Garnacho is in an excellent position to take advantage of an opening. He is a player who should be seriously regarded.

Sancho, Rashford, and Garnacho lead the third attack.

A slightly more unconventional-looking front-three than the previous two alternatives, but one that Ten Hag may experiment with or be compelled to use at some point. Jadon Sancho, who was left out of England’s World Cup team, was signed to improve United’s right-wing but has played his best football for the club on the left.

He has battled for form so far this season, so he is not at the top of Ten Hag’s priority list when it comes to selecting from his wide range of choices. He does, however, have various gears to travel up through, whether on the right or left.

Meanwhile, Rashford has played his greatest football down the left, putting an end to questions about his ideal position. But, even in an emergency, he could play centrally. He’s played there at times this season and hasn’t flopped.

This would allow Garnacho to enter the team on his preferred left flank and work his magic.

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