David de Gea’s Manchester United future is in question after Erik ten Hag revealed a ‘decision had not been made on his contract position. Losses to Brighton and Brentford early on may have raised concerns that Ten Hag is not the ideal man for the job but wins against Liverpool (2-1) and Arsenal (3-1) and a gradual ascent to fifth place in the standings have calmed those nerves.
Under a coach that has only been in charge since the 2022 summer, there is still room for growth, especially in the penalty area. United have scored only 13 goals after nine Premier League games, with three of them coming in the second half of a 6-3 loss to Man City now at Etihad Stadium.
Manchester United Is Struggling To Score
After last weekend’s games, only Bournemouth (in 7th place) has scored fewer goals than United. Already a third of the way into the season, ESPN Stats & Info data shows that Ten Hag’s squad is outside of the top six in practically every offensive measure. United is currently ranked eleventh in the Premier League with 114 shots, ninth with 29 shots on goal, eleventh with expected goals (xG), and tenth with touches within the opponent’s penalty area.
Manchester United has tried the second-fewest crosses (115) in the league, behind only Crystal Palace, and has taken the joint-fewest corners (31) in the league. United has taken 60.5% of its shots from within the 18-yard box this season, enough for the fourth-lowest in the Premier League.
Attacking production is reportedly low since the athletes are still getting used to Ten Hag’s methods. Manchester United’s Ten Hag wants his team to be more adaptable and depend more on their own instincts, in contrast to Man City manager Pep Guardiola’s regimented approach to attacking teams with the field broken up into rigid zones and channels.