Erik ten Hag’s side have lost four of their first six matches.
Out-of-sorts Manchester United has lost three consecutive games for the first time since 2019, as the club’s dismal start to the season continues.
The latest was a 4-3 setback against Bayern Munich in Wednesday’s Champions League opening, and the PA news agency looks at some of the challenges confronting the Old Trafford giants.
Weren’t things looking up under Erik ten Hag?
Following a disastrous 2021-22 season, the Red Devils turned to meticulous Ajax manager Ten Hag in an attempt to revive the club’s fortunes. United responded well, winning the Carabao Cup – their first trophy in six years – and finishing third in the Premier League, as well as becoming runners-up to Manchester City in the FA Cup final.
How has his second season begun?
United rode their luck in their opening, a 1-0 win against Wolves, before a promising start ended in a 2-0 loss to Tottenham. Ten Hag’s team recovered from that and two early Nottingham Forest goals in their following game to win a 3-2 thriller, but things have gone bad since then. A painful late 3-1 loss at Arsenal was followed by a merited 3-1 loss at home to Brighton on Saturday, then a comprehensive 4-3 loss to Bayern on Wednesday. All of this means that United have now lost four of their first six games for the first time since 1986-87.
What about the supposed takeover?
Since the Glazer family’s questionable leveraged buyout in 2005, fans have protested. The announcement of a strategic review in November, including the potential of a full sale, provided optimism for change. Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim placed bids, but the owners have been dragging their feet, so the potentially endless auction continues without resolution. Protests have persisted, including a sit-in during the home game against Forest, and things might become violent if the Glazers, as previously reported, pull the club off the market.
What about issues regarding the playing squad?
Mason Greenwood never played for Ten Hag and is unlikely to play for the club again, but United’s internal probe into him tainted the start of the season. The Red Devils finally caved to external pressure and declared that academy product would be leaving. Greenwood joined Getafe on a deadline-day loan, and United had problems with fellow strikers Jadon Sancho and Antony within days.
What happened with Sancho?