Premier League Weekend Preview: Ten Hag’s Troubles, Tottenham’s Test, and Arsenal’s Ambitions
Erik ten Hag Under Pressure, Tottenham's Title Push, and Arsenal's Title Hopes: Weekend Premier League Preview
Manchester United’s beleaguered manager, Erik ten Hag, is facing increasing pressure as he seeks to avoid another detrimental loss when his struggling team takes on Fulham this Saturday.
Meanwhile, Tottenham’s aspirations for the Premier League title will be put to the test as their former coach, Mauricio Pochettino, returns with Chelsea.
Arsenal is also harboring hopes of a title run, making their clash with top-four contenders Newcastle one of the weekend’s marquee matchups.
Ten Hag Calls for Resilience Amidst Man Utd Crisis:
Erik ten Hag has implored his Manchester United squad to demonstrate resilience in the face of mounting pressure. The Dutch coach is battling to prevent their season from spiraling further downhill.
United is experiencing its worst start since the 1962-63 season, and a defeat against Fulham at Craven Cottage could push Ten Hag perilously close to losing his job, with less than two seasons in charge.
Following a 3-0 defeat by Manchester City last weekend, United was similarly brushed aside by the same score against Newcastle in the League Cup fourth round on Wednesday.
Ten Hag’s team has lost eight out of their 15 matches in all competitions this season, leaving them in eighth place in the Premier League and in danger of missing out on the Champions League last 16.
This marks the first time that United has suffered consecutive home defeats by a margin of three goals or more since 1962. Additionally, they have lost five of their first 10 home games for the first time since 1930-31.
Ten Hag commented on the situation, saying, “This is not good enough, and we know that. That’s below our standards, and we have to take responsibility for this.” The team was booed off the pitch after their loss to Newcastle.
Bookmakers have slashed the odds on Ten Hag being sacked amid reports of players growing impatient with their manager’s tough stance. In a desperate plea for unity, the former Ajax boss emphasized the need for the team to stick together, saying, “That is our job. We sleep, and we have to go again, so we have to stand up. Sticking together is the only way, the only way we do it, shoulder by shoulder, then we will come through this.”
Postecoglou’s Confidence Boost Spurs Title Bid:
James Maddison revealed that Ange Postecoglou’s confident vision for Tottenham’s future played a crucial role in convincing him to join the club, laying the foundation for their surprising title challenge.
Postecoglou’s upbeat assessment of Tottenham’s future persuaded Maddison to reject other suitors when he left Leicester during the close season. This move has proven to be a successful one for both Maddison and his manager, as the English playmaker’s outstanding form has contributed to Tottenham’s rise to the top of the table, remaining unbeaten.
Maddison recalled, “He said, ‘James, whether you decide to come or not, you’re going to see a completely different Tottenham team.'” Maddison was impressed by Postecoglou’s confidence and stated, “I just loved the confidence he said that with. And that just left that bit in my mind where I thought, yeah, I want to go and work for this guy.”
Arsenal Gears Up for Newcastle Challenge:
Arsenal, aiming for their first Premier League title since 2004, sees a win against Newcastle as a significant statement of intent for their second-place standing.
Arsenal’s manager, Mikel Arteta, took responsibility for the defeat in Wednesday’s League Cup match against West Ham, where his decision to make six changes backfired.
However, any setbacks from that game will be quickly forgotten if Arsenal, currently trailing Tottenham by two points, can secure a valuable victory against a Newcastle team riding high after their League Cup triumph over Manchester United.
Jorginho, an Arsenal midfielder, said, “It’s great that the game is in three days because it’s a chance to turn things around. We can go and try to put things right.” He emphasized the need for improvement and competitiveness, stating, “The only thing we can take from this tough result is how we need to be much better at competing for the next game, because if you’re going to play at this level, you won’t win for sure.”